This week, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has risen to the top of the heap in early Democratic presidential primary polling in Iowa and New Hampshire, came under serious sustained attack for the first time in his candidacy. Buttigieg’s early candidacy gained credibility thanks to the moderation he displayed compared with other Democrats. He quickly lost steam when he tacked to the left. Now Buttigieg has swiveled back toward the center, launching a series of assaults on the radical plans of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and stealing her momentum in the largely white early primary states.
Normally, such political rises are attended by a spate of negative reactionary coverage, and Buttigieg’s story is no different. The most effective attack on Buttigieg has centered around his complete lack of black support — a crucial problem for a candidate whose party sees black voters as a near supermajority of primary voters in states like South Carolina. Some of those attacks have focused on Buttigieg’s less-than-stellar governance in South Bend, where crime rates have remained critically high and relations between the local population and police have been strained throughout his tenure.
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