I’m still not officially “back,” at least not for a few more days. But in the interval I wanted to make a quick note. Several months back I started writing a piece about the election of the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Ultimately I didn’t because I didn’t have anything useful to say; it was either going to be Tom Perez or Keith Ellison, neither of whom I found interesting or particularly capable of the job.
But something I wished I had said was that I wish the seat had gone to Pete Buttigieg, a 35-year-old mayor from Indiana who attended Harvard and served in Afghanistan. I learned about Buttigieg from an interview he did with Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, and where I’d largely tuned out to the repetitive and typical “we’ve got to organize” BS from Ellison and Perez (without any real, substantive plan as to how that would happen), my ears perked up at certain things Buttigieg said. Listen for yourself:
Long story short, normal Democrats aren’t good at sloganeering and rhetoric, so it was unwise to choose Perez (and by extension, it probably would have been unwise to choose Ellison, too). Buttigieg actually had a strategy, and he was able to articulate many of the weaknesses of the Democratic party and provide actual solutions. This is the kind of person we need in the Democratic party.