South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched his new book at an event at the Century Center Sunday. The conversation focused on the book, but highlighted his talking points in his presidential politics.
Buttigieg announced his exploratory committee for a presidential run about a month ago. Since that point he’s made the circuit of news stations and a trip to Iowa. But on Sunday afternoon in South Bend he was in front of a hometown crowd, trying to translate mayor into president.
“Every decision that’s made at that desk is a decision about how somebody’s life is going to go and we have an obligation to hold all of our decisions to that test: will lives get better or will they get harder because we made this move, and I hope to bring that into the conversation as well.”
That message resonated with Gina Piraccini. “When he was talking about being mayor and being in the city and hearing the actual results of his decisions, like you can’t hide from it," Piraccini said. "I think our current President is so removed because he surrounded by people who are not the norm of the everyday person.”
Shortest Way Home covers Buttigieg’s personal stories from being mayor, running for other offices, the military, and love and marriage in parallel with the story of South Bend and the United States.
On his recent marriage to Chasten Glezman, Buttigieg said, “Nothing helps me relate to others better than the fact that just like any other married couple we have, you know, debates over when a expiration date really means you have to throw something away. And, you know the difference between folding the laundry and doing the laundry and it’s really helped me stay down to earth.”
Buttigieg said the Democratic party needs to get back to values, like his slogan of 'freedom, democracy and security'. His policy platform includes getting rid of the electoral college, working up to medicare for all, and stopping partisan gerrymandering.
Isaac Nunez was in the audience. He identified himself as a Republican, but wanted to hear what Buttigieg had to say, he wasn’t impressed.
“I thought he would be a little bit more on the moderate side but like most Democrats, he’s leaning a bit further to the left.”
Buttigieg has a full schedule for the next year, working to make a name for himself nationally while serving out the final year of his mayoral term. He says he’s up for it, and that South Bend will not suffer. His book, "Shortest Way Home," is on sale now.