The Corner

Elections

Pete Buttigieg, Failure

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks to news media in the spin room after the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Ga, November 20, 2019. (Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Pete Buttigieg’s polling strength is, as far as I can tell, based on one factor only: He’s a smooth talker. He speaks the kind of fluent Ivy League-technocrat-consultancy lingo that makes a certain kind of highly educated white liberal’s heart melt, especially when combined with an appealing sense of reasonableness and youthful, forward-thinking optimism. Alas for him, he can’t talk much about the wonderful improvements he made as two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, because they aren’t there.

James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal, notes that South Bend has an extremely high crime rate for a city its size and that a recent program to provide housing for addicts has just ended in complete failure. Buttigieg has not successfully navigated the problems arising from the shooting death of Eric Logan, a black South Bend man, by white police officers. More than a quarter of the city lives at or below the poverty line, well above the national average of 14 percent. A USA Today survey called it the 40th worst city in the country, noting it is “one of the most dangerous cities in America” and has depressed property values. The median South Bend home is worth $77,400.

Buttigieg has had eight years to turn around South Bend. If the Buttigieg candidacy implicitly says, “I promise to make America more like South Bend,” I don’t think he is going to find many takers. He certainly seems like a bright young man, but he wouldn’t be the first clever fellow to prove to be all talk and no action.

Most Popular

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More
Elections

The Burning Times

Welcome to The Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, pedantry, partisan pyromania, and suchlike. The Right loves a factional brawl, and the past week brought a pentagonic crossfire between Peggy Noonan, Mona Charen, Charlie Sykes, Ramesh Ponnuru, and David French, five right-leaning ... Read More
Elections

The Burning Times

Welcome to The Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, pedantry, partisan pyromania, and suchlike. The Right loves a factional brawl, and the past week brought a pentagonic crossfire between Peggy Noonan, Mona Charen, Charlie Sykes, Ramesh Ponnuru, and David French, five right-leaning ... Read More
Media

A Brutal Assessment of Cable News

On the menu today: An MSNBC producer resigns, and metaphorically nails 95 theses to the doors of cable news, spotlighting how the industry has failed in its duties to inform the public; the president has another pyrotechnic explosion of a television interview; unnamed White House staffers whisper that the ... Read More
Media

A Brutal Assessment of Cable News

On the menu today: An MSNBC producer resigns, and metaphorically nails 95 theses to the doors of cable news, spotlighting how the industry has failed in its duties to inform the public; the president has another pyrotechnic explosion of a television interview; unnamed White House staffers whisper that the ... Read More

The Policing Crisis in New York City

On Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan, cops carried out a routine arrest of an 18-year-old New York activist who is suspected of disabling police cameras by spraying paint on them. The person is suspected of this for very good reason: There are videos starring the perpetrator carrying out the act in question. ... Read More

The Policing Crisis in New York City

On Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan, cops carried out a routine arrest of an 18-year-old New York activist who is suspected of disabling police cameras by spraying paint on them. The person is suspected of this for very good reason: There are videos starring the perpetrator carrying out the act in question. ... Read More