The Weirdness of Mayor Pete

Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via ZUMA

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Mayor Pete continues to climb in (some of) the polls:

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was initially seen as a long-shot presidential contender, has surged within striking distance of former vice president Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds….The poll, taken Wednesday through Friday, put Biden at 18%, Warren at 17% and Buttigieg at 13% among 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers.

There is something weird about Mayor Pete. I mean, the guy is a small-town mayor who compiled an OK record thanks to a long economic expansion. He’s 37 years old and looks it. His political positions are entirely conventional. And yet he’s remained steadily viable in the polls, even creeping up a bit over the past few months. What’s more, he’s raising a ton of money. Who is it that believes in this guy so much that they’re funding his campaign to the tune of $50 million so far?

Buttigieg is not a flavor-of-the-month candidate who enjoys a brief surge in the polls and then crashes. We see a few of those every election cycle. Rather, he’s been plodding along, waiting for his chance, while people shovel enormous sums of money his way.

I don’t get it. I have nothing against him, but it makes no sense that someone with his background could remain a serious contender for so long, even if he does talk a good schtick. It makes even less sense that he could attract so much money. Can someone please enlighten me about what’s going on here?

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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