Buttigieg Slams Other Democrats for Playing Identity Politics

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nam Y Huh/AP/REX/Shutterstock (10067708c) Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with an AP reporter at Farmers Market in South Bend, Ind., . Few people know Buttigieg’s name outside the Indiana town where he’s mayor, but none of that has deterred him from contemplating a 2020 Democratic presidential bid. He’s among the potential candidates who believe 2016 and 2018 showed voters are looking for fresh faces US Election 2020 Fresh Faces, South Bend, USA – 10 Jan 2019

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 presidential Pete Buttigieg slammed his fellow Democrats in a Saturday speech for their employment of “identity politics” as a political weapon.

“In a risky speech to the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT rights group, Buttigieg warned of a ‘crisis of belonging in this country,’ arguing it was exacerbated by ‘so-called identity politics’ that emphasize how one person hasn’t walked in another’s shoes — ‘something that is true, but it doesn’t get us very far,'” according to NBC.

But the candidate is no stranger to identity politics himself. Indeed, he’s benefitted from being the first openly gay candidate to run for president. Last week, he sold out a fundraiser at an iconic West Hollywood gay bar. His husband Chasten landed on the cover of TIME Magazine above a headline that read “First Family: The unlikely, untested, and unprecedented campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.” He was also profiled in Vogue, New York Magazine, POLITICO, and Chasten was profiled in The Washington Post. 

Being openly gay is the only thing that separates Buttigieg – at least in terms of identity – from the the other white male candidates in the race. That has some of his opponents hopping mad.

POLITICO quoted a strategist from South Carolina on a recent piece chronicling the struggles of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), whose presidential campaign has sputtered.

“What I hear from people is that they see the epitome of privilege,” the strategist said, referencing Buttigieg.

A “senior Democrat” from South Carolina was also quoted in the POLITICO piece.

“I think Cory is just as accomplished,” the person said. “And I’ve heard grumblings from a number of people [who have asked], ‘Why hasn’t he gotten that type of exposure?'”

Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, it has lived by identity politics in recent history. It might just die by them, too.

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