US mayor Buttigieg launches presidential campaign

The man known as "Mayor Pete" has styled himself as the voice of the millennial generation, often talking about what the United States might look like decades from now. "I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people", Buttigieg, who if elected would be America's first gay president, told NBC's The Ellen Show.

But she added, "What I'm more interested in about Vice President Biden is what he has done in his career for the American people and indeed for women" by backing such policies as the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay. "They call me 'Mayor Pete.' I'm a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for president of the United States".

There has been no coverage of Buttigieg on China's strictly controlled state media, but some LGBT community leaders are following the Democratic hopeful, whose unexpected rise in the past weeks has dominated USA political news, in overseas media. "If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too".

The campaign has already opened a campaign headquarters in South Bend, two small suites in the Jefferson Centre building.

Buttigieg, 37, has been mayor of South Bend, Indiana for seven years, while Pence was governor until joining Donald Trump as number two on the ticket in 2016. But in recent years, the government under President Xi Jinping has taken an increasingly hardline stance on LGBT rights, banning portrayal of same-sex relationships on television and online.

Just more than a month ago, Buttigieg was a largely unknown Midwestern Democrat who made a decision to run for President.

"Simple enough to fit on a bumper sticker", he said.

And he spoke about a democratic system which he said lately hasn't been quite democratic enough, hinting at a popular vote system instead of the Electoral College. "The chance to live a life of your choosing, in keeping with your values, that is freedom in its richest sense". Rain and wind meant they had to change plans, but Buttigieg said there is a silver lining in the change.

On security, he talked about borders, cybersecurity, election security and climate change, which he said might be the greatest security issue of this time.

"Our economy is on the line, our future is on the line, lives are on the line", he said.

Guests attend a rally with Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center on April 06, 2019 in Fairfield, Iowa. "I think there's something very special about someone's who intelligent and compassionate and knows how to communicate empathy".

The changing nature of politics is not lost on Buttigieg.

During her visit to the White House five years ago, Jay said she remembers thinking it was "a little odd" that Biden had held her hand, but said it was the least memorable part of the day. He also published a book in 2018, "Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance", but 2018 numbers haven't been released yet. Of the $7 million raised, 64 percent came from people donating $200 or less.

Buttigieg: 'I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade...' "Sometimes a dark moment brings out the best in us, what is good in us, dare I say, what is great in us". After all, running for office is an act of hope. "It's like no, we're not going to give you more". "We will fully fund public schools", said the senator at his kickoff.

But others in this once-industrial town feel left out, despite what Buttigieg has done.

"So with hope in our hearts and with fire in our bellies, let's get to work and let's make history", Buttigieg said. With that, he walked out to the soundtrack of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Up and Around the Bend".

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont unveiled a revamped version of his "Medicare for All" plan on Wednesday, shaking up the 2020 presidential race by renewing his call for replacing job-based and private health insurance with a government plan that guarantees coverage for all.

  • Jon Douglas