As he was conceding to Bernie Sanders after Saturday night’s Nevada Democratic caucuses, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had some harsh words for the man who had just beaten him like a gong.
“But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let us take a sober look for what is at stake for our party, for our values, and for those with the most to lose.”
He wasn’t finished.
“Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans. His vision of capitalism as the root of all evil and his calls for revolution that would go beyond reform and reorder the economy in ways that most Democrats, not to mention most Americans, don’t support.”
And in conclusion.
“We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory. We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new and broad a bighearted American coalition. This is our shot.”
Tough talk from a man who seems to be auditioning to take on the Stop Bernie mantle. As well he might.
Biden is slipping but not done, Klobuchar is charisma-challenged, and Bloomberg is wounded by his past statements on race, crime, and women.
But can you really go from mayor of a medium-sized Midwestern town, whose college only God bets against in football , to the presidency of the United States of America? Will the other ersatz moderates buy his creds?
If so, it’s a tall order and the mayor is diminutive in more ways than one.
His support, in a wider primary context, is small. His geographical base is also small. His legions of supporters? Miniscule compared to Bernie’s hordes.
True, out of the six Democrats really left in the race, he would do best against Trump in debate. But the hard left could walk and black voters could leave for Trump, as they are already doing, or merely not vote for the ubervanilla Buttigieg.
Pete has his work cut out for him. If he doesn’t score well in Super Tuesday and Biden recovers, he could long for the mess that was Iowa.