We Talked to Mayor Pete About Beating Trump, Coming Out, and Whether Female Candidates Get a Fair Shake

Pete Buttigieg’s profile is on the rise.

KC McGinnis/ZUMA Wire

Can an openly gay war-veteran millennial become president in 2020?

This week’s guest on the Mother Jones Podcast is presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, vying for a shot in a crowded Democratic field. 

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last week, Mayor Pete, as he’s known to his constituents, had a candid conversation with Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery, in which he shared his plans to bring the rigor of running a small Rust Belt town to the White House. 

But first, he needs to beat President Donald Trump—and Mayor Pete says he knows how.

Listen to the full interview: 

Now hitting the campaign trail hard, Mayor Pete popped into third place in a recent poll in Iowa behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. And on Twitter Monday morning, Pete announced that his team has raised more than $7 million in the first quarter of 2019—a significant amount for a candidate who, until a few months ago, wasn’t well known outside of South Bend. This also means that he meets the criteria to get onstage for the first two Democratic Party presidential debates, so we might be hearing a lot more from Mayor Pete. 

Fortunately, he’s got a sense of humor. Pete offered this advice to Democratic voters: “What you want to do is, you want to nominate a really kind of forward-thinking, inclusive, new-generation, young, good-looking mayor.”  

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Podcast using any of these services: 


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.