די שווארצע טופשים און די לינקע סענדערס-קאפ-אין-וואנט חברה האבן די וואך זיך גענימען צו בוטיטזשאזשעס ביינער, אים באשמיצט אלל אווער, קריכענדיג אויף אלע פיר צו טרעפן פון הינטערן אדמה קאמאנטארן פון 10 יאר צוריק.. לאנגע ארטיקלעך אויפצוקלערן וואס איז ראונג דערמיט...
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א ארטיקל אין וואשינגטאן פאוסט איבער די לעצטע וואך.
Distinguished pol of the week: Surging at the right time
Dec. 1, 2019 at 7:45 a.m. EST
He leads in the RealClearPolitics averages for New Hampshire and Iowa. Nationally, he is nipping at Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s heels. South Bend Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg certainly is surging in the polls, and most important, he is surging at the right time, in the the run-up to the first balloting on Feb. 3.
Buttigieg’s phenomenal rise in the polls is a function of his preternatural calm and remarkable verbal dexterity, leading some to make the comparison to President Barack Obama. But Buttigieg is no Obama, and indeed, the biggest question about his campaign may be whether he can draw support from the African American community.
That liability played out just before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Root’s Michael Harriot wrote a blistering column taking issue with Buttigieg’s comments in 2011 suggesting that it was lack of models that held back African American children.
“And there are a lot of kids—especially [in] the lower-income, minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven’t seen it work,” Buttigieg said eight years ago. "There isn’t someone who they know personally who testifies to the value of education.” This was hardly at the level of former vice president Joe Biden’s cringe-worthy monologueabout teaching African American parents how to to raise their kids. However, for someone already struggling to connect with African American voters, it smacked of paternalistic stereotyping and a lack of understanding of institutional racism.
What happened next goes a long way toward explaining Buttigieg’s appeal. In a follow-up column, Harriot recounted that to his amazement Buttigieg called him personally:
Pete Buttigieg didn’t want to tell me his side of the story. He didn’t excuse himself by explaining that the comments referenced by the article were made years ago. He didn’t even try to explain his plan for black America.
“I think the context was important, especially the fact that it was before I took office,” Buttigieg said.
But mostly, he just wanted to listen.
Harriot’s column was not laudatory, but it did earn Buttigieg some grudging respect from the author. “The only thing I actually know about Pete Buttigieg is that he is a white man,” Harriot concluded. “But Pete Buttigieg listened, which is all you can ask a white man to do.”
For many Americans, the episode suggests something else: Buttigieg is a man of character, humble enough to know what he does not know and decent enough not to assume his critics are acting out of bad faith. In other words, he has a personality and intellect as different from the current Oval Office’s inhabitant’s as is humanly possible. It may not be enough to overcome the hurdle with African American voters or to lift him to the nomination, but right now he is shining in a field of much-better-known and more experienced candidates. And that’s not nothing.
For his success, but more importantly, for his demonstration of grace, well can say, well done, Mr. Mayor.