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California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis is endorsing Pete Buttigieg for president, giving him the backing of the second-highest statewide elected official.
“What I see in Pete Buttigieg is someone who is young, who is smart, who is a veteran who has served overseas representing our country,” Kounalakis told The Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast Wednesday.
Buttigieg’s only experience in elective office was his two-term stint as mayor of South Bend, Ind., a city smaller than Antioch. Kounalakis, however, said that was no small accomplishment — she said Buttigieg had led “a small but feisty city into better things.”
She said Buttigieg’s experience as a naval intelligence officer shows that he “knows and understands what American power is and what it needs to be again.”
Kounalakis said she was looking for a “viable” candidate after her first choice, California Sen. Kamala Harris, dropped out in December. She said she saw that in Buttigieg when he emerged from the first two contests, in Iowa and New Hampshire, atop the field with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Kounalakis conceded that she had “struggled” with her decision not to endorse one of the three women remaining in the race — Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
“The ability to convince people on the ground that you’re the right one — that’s not a small thing,” Kounalakis said. “Frankly, that motivated me even more to get out there, because I think (Buttigieg’s) success was minimized a little bit and marginalized.”
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has picked up some more endorsements from fellow Democrats around Ohio, including the first openly gay woman to serve in the state legislature.
On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, the South Bend mayor’s campaign announced he has the backing of state Sen. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood, as well as Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore, Jefferson County Democratic Party Chair Frankie DiCarlantonio, ex-Mansfield City Councilman Don Bryant, and Maumee Councilman David Kissinger.
Buttigieg has already scored a number of endorsements from Ohio Democrats, including Mayors Nan Whaley of Dayton, John Cranley of Cincinnati, and David Berger of Lima, as well as former Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, state Rep. Casey Weinstein, and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, who ran two high-profile (but unsuccessful) congressional campaigns in 2018.
by Maura Sullivan – Feb 4, 2020 (SeaCoastOnline.com)
Maura Sullivan is a Marine veteran, Portsmouth resident, and a former Obama administration official. The views expressed are those of the writer.
While foreign policy may seem like it occurs an ocean away on another continent, its effects are felt in our communities. Many Granite State families have loved ones proudly serving in our military — including mine. My little brother serves in the Marines and is currently deployed. My fiancé serves in the Navy and will deploy this year.
As our families face these uncertain times, this election, and who we choose as our next President, will directly impact our future. As I consider the crowded Democratic field, I keep returning to one question: Who do I trust most as commander in chief with the lives of my loved ones?
As a senior Pentagon official serving under President Obama, I saw up close how life and death decisions are made in Washington. Good leadership starts at the top with a President who has integrity, will genuinely weigh the facts, understand opposing views, exhaustively consider the consequences of a proposed course of action, and then lead with conviction, courage, and compassion.
So when I think about my fiancé and my little brother being sent into harms’ way, and the President charged with leading them, the answer is quite simple: Pete Buttigieg is the leader I trust with their lives.
I trust Pete because he has personally experienced what it means to be deployed by a commander in chief. So he will never send our young women and men into a war without a plan to win and the resources to succeed– and only after every economic and diplomatic option has been exhausted.
When politicians in Washington sent us into a war we never should have entered, I saw first-hand the effects of their disastrous decision making in 2005 as a Marine in Fallujah, Iraq. We have lost more than 6,700 American lives in Iraq, where I served, and in Afghanistan, where Pete served. Too many of them come from communities in New Hampshire.
If we want to end Washington’s dysfunction, we need to elect a leader who is rooted in the realities of the American people — not politics as usual.
Pete is that leader.
We are in a moment like no other – this election will determine the course of our country and our global community not just for the next four years, but for generations to come. Consider the strategic threats we are running out of time to address. As sea levels rise, our infrastructure crumbles. Health care costs soar as our nation splinters. The stock market climbs as wages stagnate.
But we can change all that. Pete has the vision, intellect, and strategy to turn the page on the chaos and unite our country so we can finally start facing these unprecedented challenges and delivering meaningful results for all of our families.
There are tough days ahead for all of us — but we have faced challenges before, and we have always come together as a community and a nation to overcome them. Let’s not forget what we did just 12 years ago.
The energy I see around our state for Pete reminds me of what I saw in 2008 when I volunteered to knock doors in Manchester for another young inspirational leader from the Midwest with a funny name — Senator Barack Obama. Before the primaries, some questioned his ability to win, but a strong showing in Iowa and New Hampshire changed the narrative. I will never forget watching him accept the Democratic party’s nomination in Denver — and feeling so full of hope and optimism for our country.
As Democrats, we know when we let fear overtake hope in the ballot box, we come up short. But when we dare to follow our hopes and our hearts toward an exciting, young, fresh faced Washington outsider with a vision for a strong today and a better tomorrow — we win. And win this year we must — there’s too much at stake.
So let’s turn the page on all the chaos and division that we’ve come to expect from Washington and restore character and integrity to the White House. Let’s build an economy that works for working and middle class families again. Let’s fix our healthcare system and tackle climate change. Pete represents our best hope to do all that and more. With Pete, we can finally put the failed and dangerous leadership in Washington behind us.
And so, with that same spirit of hope, of belief in a brighter future, and optimism for a greater tomorrow for America that delivered us a victory in 2008, please join me in voting for Pete Buttigieg for President in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Feb. 11.
The case for Pete Buttigieg is simple: The Democratic Party wins when it nominates young, charismatic leaders who are able to convince people outside the party’s base that Democratic values are their own.
[Pete Buttigieg] would be able to pair a form of liberalism that’s more ambitious than Obama’s with a sophistication about political institutions and structures that Obama sometimes lacked. The combination could prove incredibly powerful, and redefine the party for a generation. The results out of Iowa suggest that Democratic voters are beginning to see it too.
Here is a brief rundown of economic and social policies he’s endorsed and promoted:
- A $15-an-hour minimum wage
- A universal child allowance of at least $2,000 per child, and quadrupling of the earned income tax credit for single adults
- “Affordable, universal full-day child care and pre-K for all children from infancy to age 5”
- A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
- A Medicare buy-in open to all meant to “create a natural glide-path to Medicare for All”
- A cap on all student loan payments as a share of income, forgiven in full after 20 years
But that’s not all. Buttigieg has devoted attention to big structural problems that afflict our democracy, and has proposed solutions that are genuinely radical.
- DC/Puerto Rico statehood, banning gerrymandering, ending the Electoral College, and ending the filibuster
- Expanding and reforming the Supreme Court to curb partisan rulings
- Sectoral union bargaining where agreements apply to whole industries, not just individual companies
- A carbon tax rebated to taxpayers in cash, plus a quadrupling of research and development funding for clean energy
Taken as a whole, his agenda isn’t as ambitious as that of Sanders or Warren. But make no mistake: This is a bold wish list, full of items that either the Obama administration struggled to pass even with 59 senators (like immigration reform and a price on carbon emissions) or that would’ve been too radical for Obama to begin with (like a $15 minimum wage, universal child care, a Medicare buy-in not limited to the elderly, and sectoral bargaining — the last of which has barely received any coverage, but which would at a stroke vastly increase the power of the American labor movement).
The fact that his agenda isn’t as progressive as those on the left flank of the party is a plus for Buttigieg, not a minus. Sanders and Warren have performed a valuable service by making the objectively quite ambitious agenda of Buttigieg appear, by comparison, incredibly mild, a centrist approach to expanding the safety net.
A perception of relative moderation will most likely help, not hurt, the eventual nominee. The most rigorous studies on this question from political scientists tend to find that moderate nominees have a distinct advantage over ones perceived as more extreme, largely because they don’t activate their opponent’s base the same way a more extreme nominee would.
Put another way: Sanders would terrify and turn out Trump’s base, whereas Buttigieg likely would not.