New young star Pete Buttigieg ends White House bid - GulfToday

New young star Pete Buttigieg ends White House bid


Pete Buttigieg announces he is ending his campaign for the US presidency in South Bend, Indiana, on Sunday. AP

Pete Buttigieg closed his presidential campaign much the same way he started it: with a reminder he began with just four staff, a big idea and an unknown — and unpronounceable — last name.

"We were never supposed to get anywhere at all," he said Saturday to a cheering crowd in South Bend, Indiana, his hometown of 100,000 where he served as mayor for eight years.

Buttigieg, the first openly gay prominent US presidential candidate, was surprise hit in a race where favorites Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are both more than 70 years old.

At 38 years old, just three years older than the minimum age to be president, "Mayor Pete" is driven by a self-confidence that could seem excessive, even arrogant.

But he finished in the top four in each of the first four state primaries and caucuses -- before bowing out as his chances of overall victory faded away.

Faith in his destiny is not new: Buttigieg recalls raising his hand in high school when a teacher asked who would like to be president.

"I don't know what it is we expect, that somebody kind of gets struck by lightning and then they turn into somebody who might become president," he said in a New York Times interview.

Although he didn't make it this time, he certainly made his mark.

His success "proved that Americans really are hungry for a new kind of politics rooted in the values that we share," he said, as his supporters in South Bend looked ahead by chanting, "2024!"

Agence France-Presse

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