|Mayor Pete Buttigieg|
As we entered West Baden, we immediately stared seeing these homemade "Meet Pete" signs. They were all in the same font. "Meet Pete" signs were clustered everywhere, and I have no idea how many there were. Needless to say, we put it on our agenda to meet Pete...even though we had no idea who Pete was.
Eventually, about 6:00 pm that night, we ran into Pete. Turns out "Pete" was Pete Buttigieg, then a candidate for Indiana Treasurer of State. The marketing campaign urging Democratic insiders to "Meet Pete" was brilliant because once you met Pete, you were not going to forget him. It was simple, cheap and I guarantee that anyone who attended that particular convention remembers it to this day.
The thing about Pete Buttigieg that you quickly realize is that he's not afraid to do quirky things to introduce himself to you. Pete's style and friendly manner is just the surface point. What you quickly become aware of is that this Rhoades Scholar has a tremendous amount of substance, and he has the ability to take his ideas and figure out how to implement them. That's why Buttigieg has been a successful Mayor of South Bend and why the voters gave him a strong reelection margin in 2015.
At just 34, Buttigieg already has a long list of accomplishments, and now, he wants to take his talents to the Democratic National Committee as Party Chair. On Twitter, he announced his candidacy.
I'm running for DNC Chair. It's time for new leadership to deliver a fresh start for our party. https://t.co/gYEaqjsmx1— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 5, 2017
To be frank, he's probably not the favorite to win the race. There are some heavy hitters, past Chairs and nationally-known names running. The five other candidates running would be wise to not discount this humble and friendly guy from Indiana. Buttigieg has gotten to where he is now because he works hard, and he's making progress.
As I sit here right now, I can tell you that I firmly believe that someday the United States will meet Pete just like Chris and I did in 2009. This may be the first step. I don't know if Buttigieg's road will take him to the White House or the Oval Office, but I do know that I would not count him out of anything in the future. That includes this election for DNC Chair.
We'll know by the end of February who the next leader of the DNC will be.