CNN panel stresses need for Buttigieg success in Iowa caucus, analyst plugs him as a ‘nice grandson’

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A nine-person CNN mega-panel was discussing the Iowa caucuses — which quickly became a Democratic nightmare over reporting problems — and stressed that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg does well with older voters.

This being a noteworthy observation, considering that Buttigieg is the first openly gay Democrat candidate for president and liberals are always quick to demonize older Americans for being bigots.

Equally interesting is that former Vice President Joe Biden’s greatest asset may be his appeal with older voters.

To give you an idea of how convoluted things are in the Democratic Party, while Buttigieg is the youngest viable candidate running at 37, he is well-received among older voters in the party, while 78-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders is the top choice of younger voters.

Panelist David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns, said that it was important for Buttigieg to perform well against Biden in Iowa.

 

“Both he and Elizabeth Warren invested deeply in this state, and they’re sort of locked in races within the race — one set for primacy among progressives — and I think it’s very important for Buttigieg to finish ahead of Biden if he’s going to make some claim to move forward as a credible candidate here, so there’s a lot at stake here,” Axelrod said.

CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger weighed in to suggest that Buttigieg has a “broad appeal” to voters young and old.

“Buttigieg is really the only candidate who’s come out and said and been so direct about it, ‘I have to win, I need to — not win, but I have to do well here or forget about it,'” Borger said. “And if you look at the entrance poll results, the early ones — David and I have been kind of poring over them — he seems to be someone who has a broad appeal to older voters and younger voters … and urban and rural.”

It’s almost as if they were trying to will Buttigieg into the lead, but it was CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson who made the Obama comparison.

Pointing to Iowa as a potential springboard to future success, Henderson suggested he could expand his largely white base if he does well, adding that older voters see him as a “nice grandson.”

“Can this be kind of a launching point for him?” she would ask. “I mean, everybody talks about Obama in 2008, and he did well in South Carolina subsequently. “Buttigieg, obviously, doing really poorly right now in South Carolina. But, listen, he comes out stronger today, you might see some movement in terms of him expanding his coalition because it has largely been all white.”

“He hasn’t typically done well with any young voters of any race really,” Henderson continued. “It’s really sort of older voters who see him as sort of a nice grandson or something like that.”

Meanwhile, Twitter users have been out in force to condemn Buttigieg for declaring victory over the Iowa caucus before the tallies have been announced. The hashtag “MayorCheat” has been trending among other condemnations of the disastrous Dem caucus in Iowa.

 

Tom Tillison

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