In 2000, Mayor Pete won the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's Profiles in Courage Essay Contest with an excellent essay praising Bernie Sanders as a unique American politician, whom Buttigieg described as "a powerful force for conciliation and bipartisanship on Capitol Hill" who provides "an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption."
I am a donor to both Elizabeth Warren's and Bernie Sanders' campaigns.
Sanders has used his unique position as the lone independent congressman to help Democrats and Republicans force hearings on the internal structure of the International Monetary Fund, which he sees as excessively powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products made by underage workers. Sanders drew some criticism from the far left when he chose to grudgingly endorse President Clinton's bids for election and reelection as president. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with many of Clinton's centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for America's working class.
Sanders's positions on many difficult issues are commendable, but his real impact has been as a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system. His energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene. He and a few others like him have the power to restore principle and leadership in Congress and to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism. Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service. I can personally assure you this is untrue.
Pete Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders [Pete Buttigieg/Jacobin]
(Image: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA, modified)