On Tuesday in Iowa, in the very room Jeb Bush famously urged his audience to “please clap,” the ghost of the 2016 election bared its fangs again; this time, its victim was former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “They’re gonna look to you to spread that sense of hope to those that you know,” Buttigieg begins, followed by a deafening silence. “Come on!” His pleas were spurned by the tentative raising of several “Pete 2020” signs and a tepid round of applause.
Needless to say, there’s plenty of memes about it. Buttigieg recently was the subject of several memes implying he was a CIA plant.
Fellow candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, all U.S. senators, are currently sequestered in D.C. waiting to vote in Trump’s senatorial impeachment trial. Maybe Buttigieg saw an opportunity to raise his middling poll results in this small period of quiet campaigning. Among the democratic candidates, Buttigieg is currently polling at a modest third to fifth across the board. Iowa will be voting in their primaries come Feb. 3, with New Hampshire following shortly after on Feb. 11. Politico reports that in Iowa, Buttigieg is currently in third place, polling at 16%.