Amid renewed concerns over President Joe Biden’s health and mounting speculation that he may not end up as the Democrats’ nominee for the White House in 2024, attention increasingly focuses on other potential candidates within a highly diverse and fragmented field.
Pete Buttigieg, who ran for president in 2020 and currently serves as Biden’s secretary of transportation, has become the subject of considerable buzz, but expert opinion on Buttigieg’s prospects as a 2024 presidential candidate is decidedly mixed. Some analysts praise the potential candidate’s intelligence and political skill, while others argue that he would not be able to compete successfully with even more prominent names in the Democrat field. Still other commentators say that Buttigieg is far from the centrist politician many take him to be and that his radical streak may alienate moderate voters under the intensive, constant scrutiny that Buttigieg will go through if he officially enters the 2024 primary field.
Factors in His Favor
For some analysts, Buttigieg has emerged as a strong potential candidate with demonstrated political savvy and connections that will serve him well in the coming months.
“Buttigieg has already proved he can build national appeal. He didn’t get across the finish line in 2020, but he got close. He’s already proven himself as a candidate for president, which is a long way from being mayor of South Bend,” Michael O’Brien, president of 1816 Public Affairs Group, a political consultancy and government relations firm based in Indianapolis, told The Epoch Times.
O’Brien has followed Buttigieg’s political career in Indiana, where Buttigieg served as mayor of South Bend from 2012 to 2020, and sees as one of its distinguishing features an ability to work with politicians across the aisle.
“Governor Mike Pence was in office at the time, and Buttigieg had a really good relationship with the Republican governor, just trying to get stuff done. He was not particularly partisan,” O’Brien recalled.