(FiveNation.com)- The ordinarily polished Mayor Pete suddenly was casual.
“Who knows,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said when asked last week about the idea of running for president again.
He said you don’t run for office — well, maybe some people do — because you always wanted to. He thinks you run for office because you notice something about the office, something about yourself, and something about the moment that adds up.
What started three years ago as a longshot bid by a college town mayor for the most coveted slot in Democratic politics turned into major upsets in critical early states and a Cabinet secretary position in the Biden administration.
Less than two months from the midterms, some Democrats are speculating about what a second Buttigieg run could look like.
“What he was able to accomplish in the Democratic primary for president is unbelievable,” said Joe Caiazzo, a Democratic strategist who worked on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020, including a senior role in New Hampshire.
Caiazzo was impressed that a Mayor of a small college town could connect with voters in such a way that catapulted him to the top tier in the first two states.
For now, Buttigieg is keeping his cards close to his chest. But the former South Bend mayor has remained visible since first angling for the nomination in 2020, and fellow Democrats have taken note.
“Pete won Iowa, he came very close in New Hampshire, and immediately following the primary became a part of the Democratic Party infrastructure in a way that allowed him to crisscross the country on behalf of the Biden administration and be the deliverer of good news,” said Caiazzo.
Buttigieg, now 40, recently moved from Indiana to the swing state of Michigan, and he’s maintained the media’s curiosity.
He’s seen as a potential replacement for Biden if he decides not to run for president again. A poll from July shows Buttigieg narrowly beating Biden in a hypothetical contest for the Democratic nomination.