Buttigieg wants to be President of the US but can’t even run South Bend, Indiana!

US Political News and Analysis     

Pete Buttigieg and ‘Virtuous Capitalism’

I Redacted from an article by James Freeman

Wall Street Journal Feb. 12, 2020

  Mayor Pete Is the Man to Beat

So why don’t his rivals press him on the specifics of his record in South Bend?

II Redacted from an article By William McGurn

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“Even as Pete Buttigieg savors a second-place finish just shy of a win in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, the road ahead looks much more challenging,” reports the Journal’s John McCormick. Voters may be wondering if the former mayor’s economic policy would be even more challenging for America than it’s been for South Bend, Indiana

Rounding out the eight-year Buttigieg era of mediocrity, the South Bend area posted a higher unemployment rate in December than other Indiana locales including Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

Mr. Buttigieg’s presidential agenda could be even less conducive to job growth than the policies he pursued as mayor. 

…Twenty years ago, the young Peter Buttigieg won a prize for an essay lauding America’s most famous Marxist. Wrote Mr. Buttigieg:

Americans who treasure their lives and their liberty can only hope that communism will remain a dirty word. Freedom-loving voters have noticed that even as a relative moderate in the current Democratic field, Mr. Buttigieg is backing multi-trillion-dollar tax increases, the creation of a new government-run health plan, the end of the Electoral College and a restructuring of the Supreme Court among other “progressive” changes.

But perhaps he’s not willing to go full Bernie. Those hoping that Mr. Buttigieg no longer admires unapologetic declarations of socialism may be comforted by a 2005 piece he co-authored for the center-left Truman National Security Project. The future Mayor Buttigieg co-wrote a call for a regulated economy, not an open economy. But at least he acknowledged that some sort of market should exist:

We believe that a free and fair market is the best system for creating and distributing wealth—and that our economy functions best when its members create wealth virtuously and conscientiously. Profits and principles are not mutually exclusive. And prosperity does not require exploiting workers, deceiving the public, or eroding resources. 

 Democrats understand that injustice will undermine growth, and think our society works best when opportunity can be actualized and resentment is dissolved in hope. Thus, we support discrete policies such as labor rights and workers’ protections out of our belief in the value of mutual responsibility to our fellow Americans.

II  Mayor Pete Is the Man to Beat

So why don’t his rivals press him on the specifics of his record in South Bend?

Redacted from an article By William McGurn

Wall Street Journal Feb 11, 2020

Opinion: Mayor Pete’s South Bend Record Catches Up With Him

As Pete Buttigieg’s popularity has increased in the Democratic primaries, so too have the number of attacks on his record as mayor of South Bend.

After Pete Buttigieg’s surprise win in Iowa, you’d think his rivals would be searching for his weak spot. The irony is that it’s right out in the open where it’s always been: his record as mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Mr. Buttigieg faced few hard questions about it until Friday night. That’s when ABC correspondent and Democratic debate moderator Linsey Davis refused to let him wiggle out of answering why, under his mayorship, “a black resident in South Bend was four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white resident.”

Mr. Buttigieg first tried to evade the question by saying the “overall rate” of marijuana arrests for South Bend was lower than the national rate. But Ms. Davis’s point was the racial disparity, and she stuck to it. In the end, the Buttigieg campaign issued a “fact sheet” that didn’t deny the disparity but cited other numbers to say marijuana and drug possession arrest rates were lower in South Bend than the average for Indiana.

The telling thing about the encounter was not the particular statistic. The telling thing was the deer-in-the-headlights look on Mr. Buttigieg’s face provoked by a simple factual question about what happened while he was mayor.

It seems to be a pattern, with Mr. Buttigieg, that he’s unable to give clear answers to specific questions, especially those regarding South Bend’s black community. For example:

  • “I couldn’t get it done.” This was Mr. Buttigieg’s response when asked why the percentage of African-Americans on the police force fell to 6% from 11% during his mayorship. The population of South Bend is 26% black.
  • “I was slow to realize” that schools in South Bend were segregated, he told an audience in North Carolina in December. A former Rhodes Scholar who lectures America about “structural racism” was shocked, shocked to find that schools in his own city were not happily integrated.
  • Earlier that Saturday, Joe Biden took his own swing at Mr. Buttigieg. The former vice president’s campaign released an ad comparing Mr. Biden’s record of accomplishment with Mayor Pete’s.

Plainly the idea was to lay out a Biden record of big achievements (or appropriate the Obama one) against a Buttigieg list of small ones. Thus the Affordable Care Act was paired against river lighting for South Bend’s bridges, the Iran Nuclear Deal against municipal regulations making it easier to use computer chips to track pets, the rescue of the U.S. auto industry against the upgrading of South Bend’s downtown sidewalks.

One Democrat in a position to launch an effective attack on Mayor Pete’s record is Michael Bloomberg. When Mr. Bloomberg was sworn in as mayor in 2002, New York was reeling from the deadliest foreign attack on American soil in history. During his 12 years in office, he proved one of New York’s most consequential mayors, taking on the failing educational bureaucracy, turning a $4.7 billion deficit into a $2.4 billion surplus, bringing crime to lows once thought impossible, returning his city to prosperity.

A Bloomberg vs. Buttigieg matchup over mayoral leadership would be illuminating. Unfortunately, by apologizing for the NYPD’s use of stop, question and frisk, which helped drive violent crime to record lows, Mr. Bloomberg has probably neutered himself on the argument. If so, Mr. Bloomberg has effectively given his rival Mr. Buttigieg a pass on his greatest vulnerability: the surge in violent crime in his city.

Going into Tuesday, Bernie Sanders remains the favorite to win New Hampshire. But Pete Buttigieg’s post-Iowa mojo makes him the man to beat. So where’s the Democrat who will put the obvious to Mr. Buttigieg: “Are you really telling us the model for America is South Bend?” (Huh?)

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