When you’re the presidential front runner, you’re gonna take hits.
South Bend, Indiana Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the front runner in Iowa. And in a race where you could have four different winners before Super Tuesday on March 3rd – with no consensus candidate in sight! – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina take on even more significance.
Buttigieg is getting dinged for his work at consulting firm McKinsey. McKinsey is one of those firms that signifies and symbolizes the ‘elite’ and the ‘DC Swamp.’ And even if one were to argue both of those examples, it certainly represents the idea of the insider. This goes against the image Buttigieg has been desperate to push out: Industrial Midwest Mayor who speaks for the forgotten and ignored with Millennial cool while sporting a boyish grin and a first-day-on-the-job-Supercuts hairdo.
But it all falls apart when you realize that he’s an insider at his core.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been hitting Buttigieg hard on this. Her fall in the polls (which happened once people recognized her healthcare policy is criminally insane) has her on offense. She’s done work with McKinsey herself, but that hasn’t stopped her from demanding to know his former clients, as well as demanding he release his donor list.
The New York Times has been equally brutal:
NY Times editorial board pressures Pete Buttigieg to disclose his clients and work for McKinsey after reports about the firm’s consultations with ICE on immigration crackdown. “Those three years account for fully 20 percent of his post-college career.”https://t.co/GmXb3DV0Ym— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 6, 2019
On the same day they released that tweet, they had another headline: When Pete Buttigieg Was One of McKinsey’s ‘Whiz Kids’
Even Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has gotten in on the act. At a presidential forum in Waterloo, Mayor Lightfoot told Buttigieg, “You should break the NDA.” Buttigieg responded, “I’m going to give them a chance to do the right thing, and then we’ll take it from there.”
That’s a perfectly McKinsey response.
I don’t think he should break his non-disclosure agreement (NDA.) I think he took the job and took the money and the NDA is there for a reason. But in the world of win or die politics, it’s possible that he will. But even if he satisfies his detractors on this subject he’ll still have to deal with his demoting of a black police chief, and how he handled a police-involved shooting that angered both officers and residents.
Being the front-runner brings all the eyes, and all the daggers.