This is an excerpt from The Stakes 2020, BuzzFeed News' newsletter about what really matters in the 2020 campaign. You can sign up here.
If you’d told me a year ago that the presidential campaign in late September 2019 would look like a contest between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, with other major national figures like Kamala Harris trying to stay in the mix, I wouldn’t have been surprised. If you’d told me that one of the strongest candidates would be the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana, I would have been shocked. But Pete Buttigieg has found a broad lane for an optimistic Midwestern mayor, a young man who appeals to your mom, and a progressive who talks like a centrist.
We texted Monday before the Ukraine story broke — Buttigieg had already said Trump “deserved” impeachment in April, and reiterated it this week — and after I got his adviser, Lis Smith, to give him the phone.