But will the bubble burst?
One of the quite extraordinary features of the fight for the Democratic nomination to take on Donald Trump has been the rise and rise of a 37 year old Harvard graduate and Afghanistan veteran from South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, who’s now moved to third in the betting behind Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. He’s currently Mayor of his home city.
This followed his formal entry into the campaign in a disused car factory there at the weekend which was widely covered by the US media.
I have to admit that from a betting perspective I was a bit late getting on Mayor Pete, as he likes to be called, and my longest odds are 40/1 for the Presidency. I know some PBers are on at much longer odds than that. Since then, about 3 weeks ago, he’s been on the media almost consistently and comes over as very much the antidote to Donald Trump. There is a British interest him in that he was a Rhodes scholar and spent time studying in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar when he was in his early 20s.
The big question is how the next round of nomination polling goes and whether we’ll see him moving forward here as well. The former vice president and two times White House failure, Joe Biden, continues to leading most polls but that arguably is very much a factor of his high name recognition. He hasn’t yet declared that is running and he’s struggling to deal with recent allegations of inappropriate touching of several women.
One of the key metrics to look out in all of this is how much money the contenders are able to raise. US law is very restrictive on the amount that individuals can give to a campaign so there is a need for a large support base of people who can be contacted easily who are able to keep a campaign afloat. There has been a hint of that already from Mayor Pete but his numbers for the past 24 hours after his formal launch could be very interesting.
Just watching US TV over the weekend when he made his formal announcement there were many commentators ready to compare him with Jack Kennedy and Barack Obama. Maybe that’s getting ahead of ourselves but the former President did tip Buttigieg shortly before he left the White House. There’s no doubt that he does come over very effectively. I can see the Democratic race coming down to Sanders, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete.