We all understand what will most likely happen next year with Pete Buttigieg. Unless, that is, he somehow flips African-American opinions over his handling of the Eric Logan shooting. What are the odds of that?
Pete may or may not do well in Iowa (2.3.20) and New Hampshire (2.11), but African-American voters are most likely going to shut him down in the South Carolina primary (2.29). They’ll go with either Joe Biden for his Obama administration cred (just like they went for Hillary Clinton in ’16) and general currents of trust and familiarity, or they’ll support Kamala Harris (works for me) or Elizabeth Warren.
A bit more than three weeks after the South Carolina primary, the 14-state Super Tuesday primary (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) happens on 3.3.20.
If it can’t be Pete and has to be either Biden, Harris or Warren, I’m split between the latter two. A friend insisted yesterday that Harris can’t make it with hinterland voters. I don’t believe that. I think Harris’s no-nonsense, tough-prosecutor handle might catch on but who knows?
What if Harris or Warren can’t assemble sufficient delegates to top Biden? Then we’re stuck with him. I’ll vote for Joe, of course. We all will. But what a drag if it comes down to this.
The more I think about what’s coming, the more scared I get.
Mayor Pete’s African-American problem stems from what happened in March 2012, of course. The 29-year-old Buttigieg, no doubt facing all kinds of internal pressure from upper-echelon allies of South Bend’s white police ranks, fired South Bend police chief Darryl Boykins over an illegal phone recording incident. This plus Pete’s not demanding the badge of Sgt. Ryan O’Neill over the veteran police offer’s failure to turn on his bodycam prior to the Logan shooting.
Pete is following proper procedure and protocol with the O’Neill matter, but that cuts no ice with the above-described thinking — he disciplined Boykins but not O’Neill.
Mayor Pete wasn’t polling especially well with African-Americans before this incident; now, to go by this N.Y. Times opinion and assessment piece, he’s probably doing even less well. They regard him as too cautious or too cerebral or something, just like they said “no” to Bernie Sanders in ’16 because they didn’t like the look of him despite his strong progressive views and admirable civil-rights record, etc.