NBC News reports that after a two-day campaign swing through the first in the nation’s primary state of New Hampshire, by Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old Democratic presidential hopeful of Maltese descent, many Democratic activists are drawn to the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s message and don’t see his age as a liability.
Many are now seeing Buttigieg’s age, 37, as an asset.
Among more than a dozen Democrats eyeing the party’s presidential nomination, Buttigieg, running on a message of generational change, in recent weeks has broken through as a candidate on the rise: a Harvard educated Rhodes Scholar, military veteran, openly gay and by far the youngest in a highly diverse field.
In campaign appearances, he speaks proudly of his husband and his deployment to Afghanistan. But even he seems to realize his age might be a tougher sell.
“I recognize that it’s perhaps a little bit less than traditional to have a 30-something Midwestern mayor entering into a conversation about the highest office in the land. I get the audacity,” he told several hundred people jammed into a book store event Saturday morning. “But I also believe we are in a moment that calls for greater change than we’ve seen in a long time.”
Buttigieg’s pitch, which he calls “intergenerational,” warns of a future in crisis if certain issues aren’t addressed, notably cybersecurity and climate change.
In the 2016 New Hampshire primary, Democrats overwhelmingly favoured Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who, at 77, is seeking the nomination again this time and there is speculation former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, might enter the race soon. Polls indicate both men are leading the large Democratic field.
But many said they worried both men represented the past and that they were eyeing a younger candidate to take on the 72-year-old President Donald Trump.
Buttigieg, for his part, coyly sidestepped the question of whether Sanders or Biden were past their prime.
“My hope is my personal combination of energy, education and experience will be right for this role,” he told reporters. “I’ve seen very energetic people who are twice my age and I’ve seen sluggish people who are younger than I am. It’s a competition of individuals, as it should be.”
Via NBC News