It sure seemed like Pete Buttigieg was already running for president, but he’s actually just been testing the waters. Now he’s officially jumping in. His exploratory campaign was no doubt a success. He went from the mayor of a not-so-big town to a household name in just about three months. People lined up for hours today in South Bend to watch Buttigieg’s announcement. The New York Times writes:
At a rally inside a partly rebuilt factory, once owned by the automaker Studebaker and now being turned into glass-sheathed offices for tech and other businesses, Mr. Buttigieg said, “I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing nothing like Studebaker would ever come back, but that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future.”
Mr. Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Rhodes Scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, would represent a series of historic firsts if elected: the youngest president ever and the first who is openly gay.
The Buttigieg campaign said thousands of people has RSVP’d for the event, though it was first-come, first-served for the announcement inside Studebaker. Those who didn’t get inside were directed to the west side of the building to watch the festivities on a large screen in the parking lot.
After two and a half hours, dozens of people remained in the parking lot. Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, made a short appearance for the crowd outside before heading into the building. They walked on stage to loud cheers and chants of “Pete, Pete, Pete.”
“I am impressed by the people standing inside, but I am moved by the people standing outside,” Buttigieg said. “If I see you out on the campaign trail, remind me that you were here today and remind me that you were outside.”
Buttigieg also remarked, “The idea that security and patriotism belong to one political party needs to end today. We are here to say that there is a lot more to safety and security than putting up a wall from sea to shining sea.”
Watch Buttigieg’s rally and announcement above.