Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, recently announced his bid for the White House in 2020. He will appear on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night along with Bradley Cooper (no, they are not a couple; Buttigieg is married).
In 2011, at 29-years-old, Buttigieg became the youngest mayor of an American city with more than 100,000 residents. From 2009 to 2017, Buttigieg served as an officer in the United States Navy Reserve and, in 2014, he took an unpaid leave of absence from the mayor’s office to serve in the war in Afghanistan.
During his first term, Buttigieg introduced the 1000 Homes in 1000 Days initiative, which repaired abandoned homes throughout South Bend. During his second term he constructed safer, more appealing “Smart Streets” and made the largest investment to parks and trails in the city’s history. Buttigieg has improved transparency through an open data portal, increased performance through data-based decision-making, and empowered local businesses through community investment.
A Democrat, Buttigieg graduated from Harvard University and he is a Rhodes Scholar. He is the first openly gay Democratic candidate ever to run for POTUS and is now vying for the party’s nomination in the 2020 election. If elected, he would be the youngest (at 38-years-old), the youngest to serve, and first ever openly gay POTUS!
While mayor of his hometown, Buttigieg came out publicly as gay and married his husband last year. Also last year, Buttigieg gained national attention during an unsuccessful 2017 run for Democratic National Committee chairman.
He is in his second term as mayor and broke the news in mid-December that he would not seek a third, opening the door for his presidential bid.
Trump slammed socialism during his State of the Union address last week, and at a time when Democratic Socialist politicians such as Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the fierce Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have become prominent figures in the Democratic Party.
Buttigieg took on Trump’s attacks on Socialism and the lawmakers who identify with the political ideology as a “rhetorical strategy” saying the word doesn’t have the same negative connotations it did for past generations. Buttigieg:
He is clinging to a rhetorical strategy that was powerful when he was coming to age.Today a word like that is the beginning of a debate and not the end. We are a market-based economy. You can’t kill off a discussion by calling it ‘Socialism’.
Tuesday marks the release of his book, Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge And A Model For America’s Future, which chronicles success stories from his time as mayor and in the military.
A musician, Buttigieg plays piano and guitar, and has performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He lives in the same neighborhood where he grew up and is restoring a formerly vacant home there with his husband.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is on tonight at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.