February 9, 2020

PLUS, HE'LL BRING OUT THE WORST IN DONALD:

Buttigieg is the 'get-to-yes' candidate (Matt Bai, Feb. 9, 2020, Washington Post)

Having covered campaigns for a couple of decades, I've come to believe that some candidates are just get-to-yes candidates: Voters are looking for reasons to support them, because it feels ennobling. And the only question for the candidate is whether he or she can offer voters enough reassurance to make the leap.

Take, for instance, Barack Obama, whose age and lack of governing experience gave voters legitimate reasons, in both the 2008 primaries and in the general election, to choose someone else. They didn't, because Obama was a get-to-yes candidate; he made them feel good about themselves and the country. They found a way to overlook the rest.

For months now, a lot of Democrats have been telling us that Buttigieg inspires them. They love the idea of a Rhodes scholar with military credentials, a gay candidate who doesn't let identity define him, a candidate who came of age with social media and isn't pushing 80.

They just wish Buttigieg were even five years older or that he was the mayor of, you know, a real city. They'd like to be able to vote for him; it just seems like such a stretch.

But as we saw in Iowa, Buttigieg (who, full disclosure, was a friend of mine years before people started trying to pronounce his name) has given them enough reason to look past all that. He's lightning-quick on his feet, oddly self-confident, relentlessly disciplined and forward-looking. He's steadily getting them to yes, much as Obama did.

No one else in the field enjoys that advantage with voters who remain undecided at this stage.

Posted by at February 9, 2020 5:14 PM

  

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