Buttigieg Blasted by Black South Bend Leader
When a South Bend city councilman is going to endorse someone, it would be easy to assume that he’s going to endorse the mayor of the same town. In this instance, it would be Pete Buttigieg. However, Oliver Davis chose not to go with Buttigieg, citing that Buttigieg is an unlikely candidate to beat Trump due to insufficient support from the black population.
Davis has chosen to rebuke Buttigieg and provide his endorsement to former VP Joe Biden.
Davis, who is the longest-serving African American on the Common Council of South Bend, Indiana, is endorsing Joe Biden officially. He’s rejected Pete Buttigieg because the mayor has and continues to struggle with the black vote.
The Councilman does recognize that it’s nice to see that Indiana is being represented in the Democratic presidential primary. He also loves the national attention that South Bend has been able to garner. However, he points out that Biden is a more experienced candidate.
Davis explains that you want “steady, experienced leadership” when you’re flying in the middle of a storm. He believes that former VP Biden has continued to demonstrate that he has the ability to leave the United States are all times and face the challenges that exist nationally and internationally. He believes that Biden has the skills and relationships to “bring us together in different ways.”
Clearly, Davis has seen a different side of Joe Biden than the rest of the country, especially with his ranking in the national polls dropping on a monthly basis.
Davis doesn’t have much positive to say about Buttigieg. Instead, he calls out that attracting voter support from communities of color is not a new problem that exists for the mayor. He said that it has been a consistent issue that doesn’t go away.
Davis said “I sincerely doubt it” when asked if he felt if Buttigieg was capable of winning a general election since he has low levels of support from people of color within the Democratic presidential primary.
Buttigieg has acknowledged having disagreements with Oliver Davis but has brushed it off by saying that the Councilman is only one person. The South Bend mayor says that he respects Davis coming from a “different place politically.” He also explains that a single person doesn’t speak for all black voters in South Bend. He told CNN that he is proud of the black supporters who know him and who have supported his campaign.
Davis would prefer to go with a bigger name and someone who has more support. It probably doesn’t hurt that Biden played VP to the first African-American president. Biden has been able to gain a significant amount of black support due to being partnered with Obama – one of the many ways that Biden has written the coattails of Obama for eight years in the White House and now throughout the Democratic primaries.
Davis feels as though Biden has the ability to turn Indiana blue like Barack Obama was able to do in 2008. “His numbers are real” because people know him. The problem is that he doesn’t have the double-digit lead in the national primary polls that he used to. If Davis were paying attention, he would realize that Buttigieg has actually surged to the front of the polls, particularly in Iowa. However, Davis may believe that this is a fluke.
There’s likely nothing that Buttigieg can do to cause Davis to waver on his opinion of Biden. Davis continues to praise Biden because of a decades-long record. He is also impressed by Biden’s staff diversity when launching the campaign. He compares this to how Buttigieg only focused on diversity after facing a political crisis where people expressed concern that his staff wasn’t diverse enough.
Davis and Buttigieg clearly have very different views on politics and even basic facts. Davis says that there wasn’t a single member of color during the mayor’s first term until he hired an African American woman as his attorney. However, Buttigieg’s campaign boasts that they have a staff of 430 with 41% being people of color. Buttigieg also has black staffers to rot a number of senior positions in the city government. However, Davis clearly doesn’t want to talk about this because he would rather continue promoting Biden.
It comes down to this: it sounds as though Davis was offended that Buttigieg didn’t ask his advice about running for president prior to making the decision. Davis expressed that when there are for African-Americans on the city council, he felt as though “you would take some time to talk to us” prior to making the presidential run.
In the end, Oliver Davis can give his endorsement to anyone, but he’s still just a councilmember of a small town in Indiana.