“The nature of presidential politics is the better you do, the more you are tested,” said David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama and chief strategist of his campaigns. “Buttigieg has made a pretty remarkable progress in 2019. Now he is being tested as a legitimate top tier candidate and we’ll see how he handles it.”
…The youngest candidate in the 2020 presidential race, at age 37, isn’t doing well with young Democratic voters. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Buttigieg gets the support among just 2% of voters under 35. And in an average of CNN polling in October and November, Buttigieg gets slightly better with 8% of voters under 35 — still a single-digit number.
…”I thought it was condescending.”
…”I didn’t feel like he was very clear and candid,” said another student.
…Among some people in [his] generation, his current political positioning has filled them first with disappointment, then with rage.
“He tried to fashion himself as someone more progressive on the outset and is now caving,” said Jordan Uhl, 32, a progressive organizer who has been a vocal anti-Buttigieg voice. “You could say similar things about Biden, but Pete is much more brazen about it.”
…”He’s phony,” said Adam Jentleson, when asked why he opposes Buttigieg’s candidacy so strongly.
…”He’s been validating Republican lines of attack consistently in ways that, if Warren and Bernie were the nominee, will give Trump a lot of footage to use in ads against them.”
Online, criticism of Buttigieg seems to be snowballing from questioning his moderation to suggesting that he is a Trojan Horse. His harshest critics pin him with the worst of descriptors, including one recently who called him “racist, arrogant, dangerous, a warmonger and not qualified to be president.”
…They view him as beholden to corporate interests, unable to win over the diverse Democratic base that these activists take pride in, and disinterested in the systemic change they believe the country desperately needs on issues like the influence of big money on politics and climate change and systemic racism.
…His candidacy, in their view, is akin to the vanity project of an overly ambitious, privileged white man.
…The controversy over his time at McKinsey as a management consultant has fueled accusations that he is bought and paid for by corporate interests.
…For others, the part of Buttigieg’s identity that is the most salient is not that he is gay, but that he is white, which they believe has insulated him from the kind of scrutiny that other candidates have been subjected to.
… When asked if the protests bother him. “It’s a little hard to have a conversation with them, so I don’t know for sure.”