PetePost #9: Goodbye, Pete – For Now

Hello Everyone,

Last night’s announcement came as a surprise to me, as I’m sure it was to most of you. While sad, I trust Pete’s judgement, believing that this was the right thing to do, at the right time.

I will wait for his lead in deciding who to support now.

I want to thank you for reading my commentaries and, to many, for supporting Pete in various ways. I assure you that these will prove to be worthwhile long-term investments.

Pete’s speech announcing the decision last night was as substantive and eloquent as we’ve come to expect of him.

In my customary fashion, I urge you to watch it (Pete comes on at minute 8):

And, to read it.

While I don’t have a full manuscript, here are some highlights I gleaned from the version I recorded.

We got into this race for a reason…to usher in a new kind of politics. And, that meant guiding our campaign by the values we like to call the “Rules of the Road.” Respect. Belonging. Truth. Teamwork. Boldness. Responsibility. Substance. Discipline. Excellence. And, Joy…

the only way we will defeat Trump and Trumpism is with a new politics that gathers people together. We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart. We need a broad-based agenda…not one that gets lost in ideology…

Today, more than ever, politics matters because leaders can…draw us to either our better or to our worst selves. Politics at its worst is ugly, but at its best, politics can lift us up. It is not just policy-making, it is moral, it is soul craft…

[I] wonder how the 2020’s will be remembered when I am an old man…

I firmly believe that in these years, in our time, we can and will make American life in politics more like what it could be. Not just more wise and more prosperous, but more equitable and more just and more decent…

Imagine how proud we would be to be the generation that saw the day when your race has no bearing on your health or your wealth or your relationship with law enforcement…What if we could be the ones to deliver the day when our teachers are honored a little more like soldiers and paid a little more like doctors. What if we were the ones to rally this nation to see to it that climate would be no barrier to our childrens’ opportunities in life…

That is the future we believe in…a future where everyone belongs.

For those of you who still want to study Pete – for future reference – it is instructive to see how long he has been developing the political philosophy that undergirds his current worldview.

Someone recently sent me a copy of the last column Pete wrote in 2004 for the Crimson (Harvard’s student newspaper). It is both remarkable for a 22-year-old and as a harbinger of things to come (see attachment).

He begins: “Last year, I wrote that the American left is losing a struggle for language, as conservatives masterfully redefine the political lexicon.”

He goes on to write, “Here are a few suggested entries for a recovered dictionary.” Then, he discusses three: compassion, strength, and morality.

Notice how the words equitable, decent, and moral found their way into his vocabulary on the campaign trail and his valedictory last night.

Now I’m ready to follow Pete wherever he heads in this campaign and future ones. I hope you will, too.


The Liberal Art of Redefinition The Harvard Crimson Buttigieg 5-28-2004