SWA #4: Presidential Primaries & Elections
Pete Buttigieg’s personal characteristics and priorities are generally encompassed within his slogan: It is time for a new generation of American leadership. Buttigieg, praised as a progressive millennial, war veteran, and devoted husband is about to finish his eight term as the mayor for South Bend, Indiana. In 2017, he was elected as the chair of the “Automation and the Impacts on America’s Cities” task force at the United States Conference of Mayors. Barack Obama also named Buttigieg one of the four progressive Democrats that represented the future of the party. Throughout his various efforts, his priorities seem to lie with global economic growth and advancement of industries. Since his mayoral term started, South Bend’s role was “reimagined” with large increases in job growth and improved technology applications. Based on his website, Buttigieg’s self-presentation is unambiguous. I believe that he represents both home-styles, but one more than the other. His social interactions and persona are absolutely person-to-person. When people mention Pete, they think of someone similar to them who is stepping up to make a difference. People see him for exactly what he is: war veteran and husband. Seems to me that he has made a strong connection with his voter base. I consulted a few stories covering Buttigieg and they all displayed the same theme evident in Pete’s personality and goals. Although an underdog, Pete has coalesced substantial support from the Democratic party. So much in fact, that he is now tied with Senator Elizabeth Warren at third in the 2020 caucus race. The New York Times specifically focused on Buttigieg’s desire to strengthen the party by winning back Trump supporters: the working white class. Pete stressed that this is the best and most logical way to defeat Trump, not by trying to broadcast exposure.
Jay Inslee is currently the Governor of Washington, serving out his second term since 2012. Before that, he was a member of congress since 1998. Contrary to Pete Buttigieg, Inslee’s website slogan better represents his goals and aspirations for the future more so than what he stands for. Clearly, the only issue that has Inslee’s undivided attention is climate change. I don’t blame him, it’s a huge issue that is already impacting my generation and probably generations after me. Inslee has established himself as an issue-oriented contender for the presidential race, which is evident all throughout his webpage. This is evident in one of his website headings: “From fighting climate change to winning better pay and benefits for working families, Governor Inslee has worked his entire life for all of us”. As the Governor of Washington, he has worked hard to lead his state to having the best economy in the country as well as the most environmentally friendly. The Atlantic also states that “On his watch, the state has boosted health care, increased access to early-childhood education and college, raised the minimum wage, expanded paid family leave, invested in infrastructure, and established in-state net neutrality, all while leading the country in job growth, overall personal-income growth, and GDP.” Inslee is trusted and known for getting the job done making daily progress. Unlike Buttigieg, Inslee’s webpage (thus campaign) has a direct mission and list of goals set for defeating climate change. His campaign also proudly announces that they have signed the No Fossil Fuels Money Pledge.
Given his strong advocacy for a greener environment, there is not much else the media is willing and able to focus on. Inslee believes that a strong green message will bring everyone together and win his candidacy. Most of the stories discuss if his binary platform will win enough support to win.