I got the email from a friend at about 9 a.m. on Valentine’s Day telling me that Pete Buttigieg would be at a rally in Sacramento. I quickly sent out this information to a bunch of local “Pete For America” fans to see who wanted to carpool.
The decision to go was easy. Valentine’s Day was basically a blur. All the candy was distributed to friends, so what else was there left to do? Yep, head to Sacramento at warp speed to hear this person I regard as the 21st Century reincarnation of JFK (that’s John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th U.S. President, for any unenlightened young folks).
Perfect weather, right downtown in Cesar Chavez Plaza, parked across from the venue, and folks were already lining up at my arrival time of 2:45 p.m. for the 4 p.m. rally. I had registered, so it went real smooth for the entry. There were lots of friendly volunteers, lots of free political signage and the excitement was nearly palpable.
Then I noticed the staging area, and being about the 45th person in line, I imagined a front-row position for great photos of Pete. When the time came to let us move to the stage, I was quickly elbowed by several earnest – but friendly – women. Was it my duty to knock them to the ground and beat them to my desired spot? Well, yes, but the better half of my brain took over and my roughshod manner was shelved, maybe until the next political showdown.
I became friends with the aforementioned ladies from Nevada, as we had lots of time while Pete was being interviewed by state and national media in a large tent nearby. Then the chants began. “We Want Pete! We Want Pete!”
All of a sudden a voice from nowhere said, ‘To introduce the next President of the United States, please welcome the Lt. Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis!” There was wild cheering as Kounalakis gave her reasons for supporting Mayor Pete.
The crowd chanted, “President Pete!” and then Pete Buttigieg himself sprinted from the large media tent and pole-vaulted upon the stage, or so it seemed. With microphone in hand, he thanked everyone for being there, and then launched into why he wants to be President of the United States.
This Mayor from South Bend, Indiana, dressed in his signature look — white shirt, sleeves rolled up, blue necktie, about 5’10” — began with how he met his husband Chasten and how they formed a loving bond. The crowd was silent, and you could see the tears rolling down countless faces as we heard a touching story that illustrated just how human it is for two persons of the same gender to find love, respect and a way of life.
Then Pete was asked questions that folks submitted while we’d waited for his arrival. There were questions about the economy, about what he’d do on his first day in office, how he’ll earn the votes of all persons of color, how he’ll work to heal the world leaders’ images of the U.S. after they’ve been left with an uneasiness by our current president; so many points of information that we simple folks out here in the world at large have on our minds on a daily basis.
His delivery was honest and well-researched, not just as a policy wonk, but one whose education and world-travel brought him to the point and desire to be the leader of our wonderful country.
Not only does he speak five languages, and he did speak to the crowd in Espanol, but his time serving in the military in the Middle East gave him the knowledge that it’s all about diplomacy that’ll keep us and them out of destructive warfare.
His firm grip, not only by his handshake, but knowledge of national and international affairs, is what brought me to support him early on.
I’ve already voted for him, and there’s a group of more than 200 Pete supporters in Shasta County who will likely vote for him, and we’ll see how he and the other Democratic candidates fare at the National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July 2020.
I end with suggesting you ask yourself this: Why wouldn’t you want this 35-year-old person with all the attributes formerly mentioned to be our next president?
If you want to know more about “Pete For America” and his clear message, go to his site: peteforamerica.com