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By Adam Edelman
SOUTH BEND, Indiana – Pete Buttigieg, 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has officially announced his presidential candidacy on Sunday afternoon, hoping to mark history as the youngest Commander never openly gay chef.
Addressing a crowd made up solely of people standing in a downtown technology hub that once housed a long-shuttered Studebaker car factory, Buttigieg promised to bring to the country the kind of change and change. 39 innovation that he had helped to inculcate. in his native South Bend.
"I'm calling Pete Buttigieg, they're calling me Mayor Pete, I'm a proud son of South Bend, in Indiana, and I'm running for the presidency of the United States," he said. he declared, causing a wave of screams from the crowd adoration. "I recognize the audacity to do that as the millenial mayor of the Midwest, more than a little daring – at age 37 – to look for the highest position in the country."
Referring to the progress of his hometown under his leadership – including a revitalized city center and a reduction in unemployment – Buttigieg proclaimed that "South Bend is back".
And he did more than a few digs to President Donald Trump, telling the crowd that he was going to "tell a different story from that of Make America Great Again."
"A myth is being sold to industrial and rural communities: the myth that we can stop the clock and restart it," he said. "This comes from people who think that the only way to reach communities like ours is to feel resentment and nostalgia, selling an impossible promise to return to a bygone era that had never been so great. great than what was announced. "
The long-awaited announcement marked the last chapter in Buttigieg's meteoric rise from the mayor of the fourth most populous city in the 17th most populous state to a legitimate presidential candidate.
Mr Buttigieg had already created a presidential exploratory committee in January, which provoked a series of television interviews and newspaper articles highlighting his varied resume. Buttigieg, the son of two professors from Notre Dame University, attended Harvard; became a Rhodes Scholar worked for the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company; was elected mayor of South Bend at age 29; took a leave during his first term to serve in Afghanistan as a naval intelligence officer; appeared as gay in a column of his local newspaper a few months before his reelection; was reelected with nearly 80% of the vote; married his companion Chasten during a church ceremony broadcast live on the Internet; and wrote a best-selling book.
He spent the months following the launch of his Exploratory Committee across the country and introduced himself to the early-state crowds of early voting in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. He gave a very personal speech about how he fought against his sexual orientation. Vice President Mike Pence's shots about his positions on gay marriage and LGBTQ equality.
He joins an exceptionally large group of candidates who vie for his party's candidacy. There are at least 14 major candidates in the race – 17 if you have three other semi-known candidates – and close to half a dozen others who could still announce.
Democratic voters and political observers, however, quickly noticed the millennial mayor, expressing admiration for his ability to speak seven languages, praising his intellectual ideas such as "intergenerational justice" and adopting a handful of ambitious political proposals, such as the 39, abolition of elections. University.
One of the participants Sunday, Terry Burns, 57, of Indianapolis, said Buttigieg "does not seem to be a typical politician, seems honest and thoughtful, would make a good president."
His wife Lisa Burns, 61, said she thought "it would be nice to have someone smart at the White House to change things," adding: "I've already decided to support him and nothing can change that."
Money has come in too.
Earlier this month, Buttigieg announced that it has raised more than $ 7 million since the launch of its Exploratory Committee – a huge sum for an unknown figure to date and a difference that has made it even worse. Placed in front of all the others in the race for democracy. the money raised, with the exception of Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, former Texas representative, Beto O 'Rourke, and California Senator Kamala Harris.
Last week, two polls put Buttigieg in third place in Iowa (a poll from Monmouth University allowed him to get the support of 9% of caucus supporters, behind 16% for Sanders and 27% for former Vice President Joe Biden). should participate in the race later this month) and in New Hampshire (a survey of Saint Anselm College showed him 11%, followed by Sanders (16%) and Biden (23%).
The speed of Buttigieg's ascent is not lost in the new candidate.
"A month ago," he joked during an appearance last week in "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "we were just trying to get people to say my name."