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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Shortest Way Home
One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

by Pete Buttigieg

(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg (number of quotes indicated):
  • Al Gore (1) Democrat
  • Barack Obama (1) Democratic President (elected 2008)
  • Bernie Sanders (1) Democratic Presidential candidate
  • Elena Kagan (1) Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court
  • George W. Bush (2) Republican
  • Hillary Clinton (1) Democratic Presidential candidate
  • Mike Pence (4) Indiana Republican Vice President
  • Mitch Daniels (1) Indiana Former Republican Governor (2005-2013)
  • Mitt Romney (1) Massachusetts Former GOP Governor (2003-2006); Pres. candidate (2008)
  • Pete Buttigieg (28) Indiana Democratic candidate for President; Mayor of South Bend, IN
  • Richard Mourdock (3) Republican Challenger Indiana
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

Why does the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, think he's eligible to run for president? This book provides "Mayor Pete's" rationale and credentials.

South Bend is a small city (population 101,000) in northern Indiana, in the "Rust Belt" between Chicago and Michigan (90 miles from Chicago; 10 miles from Michigan). South Bend is most famous as the home of Notre Dame University, and as the former home of a Studebaker automobile factory. Buttigieg's time as mayor overlapped with Mike Pence's time as governor of Indiana, and Buttigieg describes his differences with Pence from that period (such as RFRA, p. 212)

Buttigieg's biggest claim to fame is that he turned around South Bend, from a collapsing component of the Rust Belt, to a thriving and up-and-coming small city. South Bend's decline began in 1963, when the Studebaker factory closed; its population at that time was 130,000, and declined steadily for decades afterwards. Buttigieg's methods included:

  • Collaborating with Notre Dame University on technology like "Smart Sewers" (pp. 177-8), which Buttigieg describes as "College Town 2.0".

  • Data-driven policy instead of the traditional political method of intuition: Buttigieg worked for the McKinsey management consulting firm and applied its data-driven method, but came to appreciate balance with intuition (p. 195).

  • Buttigieg collaborated with Pence and other Republicans (Indiana is a red state, with places like South Bend representing liberal havens amid hundreds of miles of conservatism). For example, Buttigieg and Pence made a bipartisan collaboration on the "Regional Cities Initiative" (pp. 207-8).

Buttigieg claims that he has more government executive experience than Donald Trump: Buttigieg has been mayor since 2012, while Trump has only been in government since 2017. He also claims military experience, having served eight years as a Navy lieutenant (the same rank in the same branch as JFK, one might note). And Buttigieg also ran for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee in 2017 -- he lost, but met all the major national Democratic players in the process (pp. 305-7).

Is that enough to run for president? At this writing, Mayor Pete is definitely the "flavor of the month," because the first quarter fundraising reports just came out, and Buttigieg reported $7 million in contributions, placing him solidly in the top tier of dozens of candidates. Whether that flavor-of-the-month translates into a serious campaign, or fizzles out just as the mainstream media learns to pronounce his name, is yet to be seen.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, editor-in-chief of OnTheIssues, March 2019

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    George W. Bush: 2008: $17.4B bailout for auto companies.
    Mike Pence: Economic development grants at regional level, not cities.
    Mitt Romney: 2008: auto industry bankruptcy would force modernization.
    Richard Mourdock: OpEd: 2009 auto bailout not worthwhile despite saving jobs.
Civil Rights
    Mike Pence: OpEd: RFRA seen as allowing discrimination against gays.
    Pete Buttigieg: As mayor, renamed main street as Martin Luther King Blvd.
    Pete Buttigieg: Declared "open city" for LGBT, when state became anti-LGBT.
    Pete Buttigieg: Someday, politicians won't have to come out as gay.
    Barack Obama: 2009: added to Bush's $17.4B bailout for auto companies.
    Elena Kagan: 2009: Argued before Supreme Court favoring Chrysler bailout.
    Mike Pence: Companies are not persons; should not have religious rights.
    Pete Buttigieg: Supported 2008 auto bailout, to save workers and communities.
    Pete Buttigieg: Companies are not persons; should not have religious rights.
    Richard Mourdock: 2009: Challenged Chrysler auto bailout, and lost.
    Pete Buttigieg: Concentrate law enforcement on gang-related violence.
    Pete Buttigieg: Focus on opioid treatment options, not just defining problem.
    Mike Pence: Regional Cities Initiative: enhance community appeal.
    Pete Buttigieg: As mayor, installed "River Lights" outdoor art for $700,000.
Families & Children
    Richard Mourdock: Pregnancies resulting from rape express the will of God.
Gun Control
    Pete Buttigieg: Installed ShotSpotter technology: identify source of gunfire.
Homeland Security
    Pete Buttigieg: 9/11 brought post-Cold War era to new generation of war.
    Pete Buttigieg: Knee-jerk PATRIOT Act undercut American freedoms.
    Pete Buttigieg: Signed up for military in 2008, during Iraq troop surge.
    Pete Buttigieg: 1950s norm was college then military; he followed suit.
    Pete Buttigieg: Recognize Vietnam Veterans Day, as late honor.
    Pete Buttigieg: 2009 auto bailout was worthwhile; it saved jobs and pensions.
Principles & Values
    Al Gore: OpEd: students saw Gore & Bush same as on domestic policy.
    Bernie Sanders: 1990s: Nominated as "Socialist" for Profile in Courage award.
    Pete Buttigieg: 1990s: Nominated Bernie Sanders for Profile in Courage award.
    Pete Buttigieg: 2000: worked for Gore, but Bush was same on domestic policy.
    Pete Buttigieg: Name recognition is key; his is pronounced "Buddha-judge".
    Pete Buttigieg: My success shows that Democrats can win in Flyover Country.
    Pete Buttigieg: For DNC chair: "A Letter from Flyover Country".
    Mitch Daniels: Business-minded technocrat uninterested in social issues.
    Pete Buttigieg: Set up 311 phone system for easier contact to city services.
    Pete Buttigieg: Created city data map of infrastructure and road assets.
War & Peace
    George W. Bush: OpEd: Saddam had reasons to NOT use WMDs until we invaded.
    Hillary Clinton: OpEd: supported Iraq War to avoid looking unpatriotic.
    Pete Buttigieg: Afghanistan war was "outsourced" to the few in uniform.
    Pete Buttigieg: Not realistic to demand "with us or with the terrorists".
    Pete Buttigieg: 2002 Iraq War made no strategic sense, even if WMDs existed.
    Pete Buttigieg: 2002: opposed Iraq War because believed WMDs would be used.
Welfare & Poverty
    Pete Buttigieg: Deal with 1,000 abandoned buildings in 1,000 days.
    Pete Buttigieg: Public scoreboard showing progress on 1,000 abandoned homes.

The above quotations are from Shortest Way Home
One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

by Pete Buttigieg

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: May 21, 2019