Monday morning has arrived and it’s looking like a classic case of “Good News, Bad News” for Mayor Pete Buttigieg. On the good news front, his campaign released their second-quarter fundraising numbers before anyone else and the Mayor is claiming an eye-popping $24.8 million haul for the past three months. Not too shabby, and clearly enough keep his hand in the game well into the summer. He’s also being credited for having a fairly good night at the first debates.
Then there’s the bad news and it’s still emanating from his home town of South Bend. Back home, there are still protests filling the streets and an endless stream of unflattering headlines in the local press. The fallout from a white cop shooting a black suspect dead, followed by people shooting at police officers in the streets continues. Now a popular church pastor and social justice activist is talking to any press outlet that will listen and calling on the Mayor to resign. (Free Beacon)
“To start with trying to heal, the mayor just needs to resign,” activist and pastor Mario Sims told the Washington Free Beacon, adding that Buttigieg should demote Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski to cleanse the department of bad blood.
Sims also added that he believes Buttigieg is racially “tone-deaf” and should consider retiring from politics until he has “spent some time evaluating this.”
“I understand political ambition, I understand that,” Sims said. “But you’re playing games with the lives of the people here, and innocent police officers.”
In addition to Pastor Sims, a former president of the South Bend Board of Public Safety also called for Buttigieg to step down, adding that he “definitely shouldn’t be running for President” in the wake of his handling of this crisis. He went on to add that “Pete is a fraud.”
From the other side of the divide in this dispute, the local Fraternal Order of Police has already issued a statement condemning their mayor for not supporting law enforcement in his city.
How much longer can Pete Buttigieg keep up this balancing act? He’s spending most of his time on the road, speaking about national and foreign policy issues, drawing sizable crowds and healthy poll numbers. But meanwhile, the city he’s supposed to be running is figuratively going up in flames. The national press is taking it relatively easy on him since he’s viewed as a liberal crowd favorite, but they’ve been forced to report on these stories out of South Bend.
If Mayor Pete can’t handle the racial divide in his city of barely 100,000 souls or enforce the law while building bridges between the community and their first responders, how is anyone supposed to believe he can do it on a national level? This is the same mayor who demoted a black Chief of Police and replaced him with a white guy. Is he going to be able to win over black voters in key states like South Carolina?
Donald Trump won Indiana in 2016, but the Democrats would dearly love to steal that state back (in addition to much of the midwest). Democrats have to be wondering at this point whether Buttigieg can carry his own state if community leaders in South Bend won’t even support him.