Running a city may be the right kind of experience for those who want to govern in this complex age
Mr Buttigieg’s personal history combines traditional values and new territory: a person of deep faith and an Afghanistan war veteran, he is also gay and recently married, multilingual, a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes scholar and a former McKinsey consultant. His rise reflects the changing nature of American politics and society.
Mayors play a unique role in American governance. They often have to be pragmatic rather than rigidly partisan. To succeed, they must connect the dots between real-world problems, horizontally linking housing, environment and transportation rather than managing vertically-organised bureaucracies, as in the federal and state governments. The best ones work across sectors, bringing together corporate, philanthropic and university leaders to design, finance and deliver solutions.
Mr Buttigieg’s age, military service and work history have exposed him to the power and possibilities of technology, as well as the disruptions that are coming from artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, genomics and a host of other technologies.