Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 38, could become America’s youngest president. The secret of his success may also lie in his rhetoric.
He would be such a blatant counter-proposal Donald Trump. He recently turned 38, making him the youngest president in history if he wins the November elections USA. He would also be the first openly gay leader in the White House. He is smart, graduated from Harvard University, also studied at Oxford and speaks eight languages. He has political experience and was mayor of his hometown in Indiana’s rust belt in the American Midwest for seven years until November 2019 – only interrupted by a seven-month assignment for the US Navy in Afghanistan.
Iowa primary winner Pete Buttigieg is married to one man
As a European, you don’t necessarily have to know South Bend with its little more than 100,000 inhabitants. Neither does Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, who prefers to be called “Pete” for the sake of simplicity. That may change with the chaotic Democratic primary in not-so-distant Iowa. Suddenly, the “Bu-ti-jidsch” – roughly the correct pronunciation of his name, which even Americans find difficult – is the center of attention because the party members and supporters gave him the most votes, at least more than the favored “old” Applicants Sanders, Warren or Biden. Now he’s in the front row.
Last April, the editors introduced him once before. There he is at home in South Bend in the photo with the dog Truman on the living room carpet halfway under the grand piano, while next door his caring husband Chasten Glezman plays with the dog Buddy – a modern family idyll. Buttigieg is more likely to be assigned to the moderate wing of the Democrats, and despite his comparatively young age and in times of “Fridays for Future” does not stand for fundamental political change. He is possibly even the most conservative of all candidates. Which could possibly cost him the necessary votes in the end to actually become a presidential candidate. Not his gayness or his relatively young age. He’s just not left enough for many Americans.
US primaries: Pete Buttigieg speaks eight languages - including Maltese
The secret of his success in Iowa may also lie in his ability to rhetorically engage people with his soft baritone voice and always smiling. He appears shirt-sleeved and he can formulate: “We would be better off if Washington were governed like a small town,” he once said. Or almost poetically: “The first morning after Donald Trump will come, and over which America will the sun then rise,” he repeats like a refrain. He would invest in education and infrastructure, he also emphasizes the importance of climate policy. International alliances are important to him, which certainly has something to do with his origins. He is the son of a Maltese immigrant. He also speaks its language – along with seven others.
Back to the difficult name Buttigieg. In his Twitter profile, the candidate uses an improvised phonetic transcription: “Boot-Edge-Edge” is intended to make pronunciation easier for Americans. “Schuh-Kante-Kante”, according to the German translation, is now one of his slogans – whatever that is supposed to mean.