Pete Buttigieg was quickly locking down a solid lane in the Democratic primary: a young, vibrant, gay, midwestern, war veteran mayor with progressive ideas and plenty of money — but both feet planted in fiscal prudence.
Young Wall Street and tech-entrepreneur types were starting to fall in love — with his poll numbers and fundraising totals underscoring the Buttigieg boomlet. He was the “Parks and Recreation” candidate in the Democratic field and an alternative to seventy-somethings Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who are both looking to lock down the hyper-online progressive, anti-Wall Street crowd as well as blue collar workers across the Midwest.
And Buttigieg is a lot younger than former Vice President Joe Biden, who has lagged in fundraising and hardly taken off in the big-donor crowd the way many expected. Buttigieg was poised to perhaps emerge as the leading moderate alternative to Biden.