These Pete Buttigieg Quotes Reveal What Kind of President He'd Be

"I am not skilled enough or energetic enough to craft a persona. I just have to be who I am."

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(Image credit: The Washington Post)

You've probably heard a little about "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg, the millennial presidential candidate who's seen a surge in popularity this spring. But you'd be forgiven for not knowing much about the guy and what he stands for, considering he wasn't well-known outside of South Bend, Indiana (where he's served as mayor since 2012) until he announced he'll be running for president in 2020.

So I put together a cheat sheet for you to learn about exactly who Buttigieg is, in his own words.. Here are some of his most illuminating quotes to give you a better sense of where he comes from, why he's running, and what makes him so beloved.

"I am not skilled enough or energetic enough to craft a persona. I just have to be who I am and hope people like it," Buttigieg said, per The Chicago Tribune. "I think people in our party tie themselves up in pretzels trying to be more electable."

"Well, the way I look at it is you just have a different standing to talk about these issues when they're personal for you. It's one of the reasons why I often try to paint a picture of what the world would look like in 2054, because it's the year I get to the current age of the current president," he told Vice.

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"There's something happening right now, that calls for something completely different than what we've been seeing. Generationally different, regionally different, somebody with a different life story and a different background," he told Fox News.

"And to the surprise of many, including myself, this moment could be the only moment over the last 100 years or the next 100 years, when it's appropriate for someone like me to be in this conversation," he added.

"If you grew up during that Cold War period, then you saw a time in politics when the word socialism could be used to end an argument," Buttigieg told CNN. "Today, I think a word like that is the beginning of a debate, not the end of a debate."

"I get the urge people will have after Trump. ‘Look at the chaos and the exhaustion: Wouldn’t it be better to go back to something more stable with somebody we know?’ But there’s no going back to a pre-Trump universe. We can’t be saying the system will be fine again just like it was. Because that’s not true; it wasn’t fine. Not if we could careen into this kind of politics," he said to The Washington Post

“My generation is the generation that experienced school shootings beginning when I was in high school, the generation that fought in the post-9/11 wars, the first generation to have to deal with the reality of climate change, and the first generation not to be better off than our parents materially—if nothing changes,” he told Reuters.

"The only way to know is to get out there," he said to CNN. "I will say I got re-elected with 80% of the vote after I had come out while Mike Pence was governor of Indiana. I don't think these things decide your fate."

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Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.