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Buttigieg Debate Bingo
The South Bend Mayor faces a big test in Miami tonight. Track his performance with this handy bingo card.
Days until the presidential election: 495
On National Bingo Day, welcome to IMPORTANTVILLE Buttigieg Bingo.
Based on months of tracking Pete Buttigieg on the campaign trail and analyzing transcripts from interviews and his stump speech, I've collected some of his commonly used talking points that he is likely to deploy tonight, as he tries to make a generational contrast with more well-known candidates such as Biden.
Buttigieg will take the debate stage in Miami tonight alongside nine of his fellow Democrats, marking the first time millions of voters will meet the mayor of Indiana's fourth-largest city.
Buttigieg will debate self-help author Marianne Williamson, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.
His presence on the stage tonight at the Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is in itself something of a coup. After launching his long-shot bid at a press conference on Jan. 23, the then-little-known mayor took nearly two months to make the debate stage by amassing 65,000 individual donors and registering in early state polls. He officially crossed the required threshold on March 16, after a star turn at a CNN town hall.
Since then, the mayor has soared in polls: He ranks third or fourth in most polls of early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
According to Morning Consult, Buttigieg's name identification among registered voters nationally has gone from 0% to 69% over the last six months, with 31% of voters still saying they have never heard of him.
Tonight's debate will also be an opportunity for him to address a roiling policing crisis back home in South Bend after an officer-involved shooting led to the death of a black man by a white police officer. The episode has laid bare a rift between South Bend's largely white police force and the city's minority community. Buttigieg often says he wants to “get Washington to look more like our best-run cities and towns," a phrase that critics are using against him as they evaluate the quality of his police department, one that has declined in diversity during his time in office.
Buttigieg spent much of last week back in South Bend dealing with the fallout of the shooting, canceling a glitzy L.A. fundraiser that was set to be hosted by fellow Hoosier Ryan Murphy.
His handling of the crisis has been criticized by political detractors and allies alike. "Those who know him —and I do—could see the anguish etched in his furrowed brow," wrote David Axelrod, the director of the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics and former senior adviser to President Obama, in a CNN column following a tense town hall Buttigieg hosted in South Bend on Sunday afternoon to discuss the issue. "But his answers were delivered in a factual, almost clinical, manner, more in keeping with his prior life as an analyst for McKinsey & Co. than the ministerial role called for by an episode in which a life was lost."
Buttigieg jetted to Florida on Monday after the town hall, and has been trying to walk a delicate line between minding the store in South Bend while keeping his momentum on the campaign trail.
Indiana Democratic Party is hosting a watch party at Moe and Johnny's, one of thirteen such watch parties around the state.
QUESTION: Which phrases did I forget that I should’ve included? Leave your suggestion in the comments section below.
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