Amy McInerney at first saw Joe Biden as Democrats’ best hope to beat President Donald Trump — an experienced politician with the potential to peel off some of Trump’s working-class supporters. Then she heard Pete Buttigieg speak.
“I felt like Pete more represented my generation,” said McInerney, 33, as she held her 6-month-old daughter, who sported a pink “Buttigieg 2020″ onesie. “There need to be voices that are younger represented.”
Separated by 40 years, Biden and Buttigieg represent the generational poles of the crowded Democratic presidential primary. Biden, 76, would be the oldest person elected president. Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the youngest. Biden casts his decades of experience in Washington as a remedy for Trump’s turbulent tenure, while Buttigieg argues that the moment calls for the energy of a new generation.
“A lot of this is simply the idea that we need generational change, that we need more voices stepping up from a generation that has so much at stake in the decisions that are being made right now,” Buttigieg said shortly after announcing his candidacy.