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Buttigieg’s powerful new argument two weeks before Iowa : When the Dems choose an old insider they lose

January 19th, 2020

Their White House winners in recent times have been with young outsiders

I’ve just had an email from an old acquaintance who has recently visited Iowa where he attended a packed Pete Buttigieg meeting, asked questions of the young contender and got himself a selfie. This is from his email.

He said one thing that interested me: The Dems always do better when they have someone who is new to the National Stage – Obama, Clinton, even Carter, for example, were not from Washington. JFK was “next gen”. Whereas they never do well with older or more experienced Washington candidates. The Dems surely did well to choose JFK over Stevenson, who wanted to run for the third time, for example.  Hilary Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Mondale, Humphrey – all lost. Of course, having a non-Washington candidate doesn’t guarantee success (Dukakis, McGovern). But the claim that (older) insiders never win for the Dems is interesting. If he can get traction with that, then maybe people will wonder whether Biden is another Humphrey. 

Another thing that could hinder Sanders and Warren is that they are both Senators who in the two weeks between now and the Iowa caucuses will find it difficult to leave Washington because they’ll be tied up with the impeachment process.

Buttigieg has bet the farm on Iowa and there’s a good chance he’ll succeed.

Mike Smithson