Students attend Buttigieg campaign event at the school


Abigail Presson

Pete Buttigieg speaks at a rally that took place on Washington-Liberty’s field. The rally attracted almost 8,000 people.

On Sunday, February 23, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visited the school’s football field for a rally. Since the event, Buttigieg has dropped out of the presidential race.
According to the Buttigieg campaign, the candidate drew crowds of almost 8,000 people to the school. Students, community members and people from the surrounding Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area entered the mile-long line to get into the football stadium for the event. Many students from the school with different opinions about the 2020 elections attended the event.
“I can’t vote, but if I could vote [Buttigieg] would be my candidate,” junior Emma Berver said. “I think he’s a very eloquent speaker. I also think that he’s a little more moderate than Warren and Sanders. I think his message applies to a lot of different people.”
Although Berver and other Democratic students at the school supported Buttigieg, some students supported other Democratic candidates more.
“[I am not certain I would vote for Buttigieg] because I have decided to look at all of the candidates instead, and I don’t think that he is necessarily the one to win in November,” junior Alana McBride said.
McBride stressed that it was very important for her top candidate to be electable, a quality which she does not think Buttigieg has relative to the other candidates.
“I do think he’s electable, but I just think that we should watch throughout each of the primary states and see who can get the best coalition together,” McBride said. “I think Pete [Buttigieg] has done a really good job so far of getting a large coalition, but I also want to look at each of the other candidates.”
Although she has not yet decided her candidate for president, McBride is a fan of the former mayor.
“I am a part of the LGBTQ community,” McBride said. “It’s cool to see a gay presidential candidate running and doing well, including the fact that he won the Iowa caucus. That’s pretty impressive.”
Students at the rally also supported different presidential candidates.
“I haven’t decided yet [if Buttigieg is my candidate], but I am kind of leaning more towards Sanders,” senior Jake Dertke said. “I think Sanders’ policies are going to be better for America. I don’t think Pete is really the candidate we need to defeat Donald Trump.”
Dertke thinks that Buttigieg’s “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan is weak, which is one of the main reasons Buttigieg is not his top candidate. He said he would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports climate change, free college and beating Donald Trump as important issues. Like many other students who live near the school, Dertke wanted to hear Buttigieg speak because the event was easily accessible for him.
“If [the event] was far away I probably wouldn’t have come,” Dertke said. “Since I live so close, I can just walk. I figured I might as well show up. It would be a waste not to come and be [involved] in the political process.”
Not every student at the event supported the Democratic party. Sophomores Nick Moir and Mark Haines came to the event supporting the Republican party.
“He’s not [my candidate],” Moir said. “But I just wanted to come out and see what the other side is looking at and kind of just figure out what’s going on.”
Moir believes that the universal healthcare plan many Democrats want for the country will not be effective.
“I don’t think [the healthcare plan] will work out,” Moir said. “I think the private health care [system] right now is working really well and that’s why we have one of the most advanced health care [systems] in the world.”
Moir says he does not have a candidate he wants to be president in 2020 yet.
“I’m kind of leaning more towards Trump just because I’m on the Republican side,” Moir said. “But if [Buttigieg] says something that changes my mind, who knows? I might switch over.”
Most high school students, with the exception of some upperclassmen, cannot vote in the 2020 primary or general elections. However, students can still influence the elections by supporting their candidate of choice through canvassing, expressing support on social media or donating to the campaign of their choice.
Although Buttigeig has since dropped out of the presidential race, many students and community members strongly supported the candidate. Students also said they would be enthusiastically helping other candidates in the election process. According to Oxford Dictionary, electioneering is to actively and energetically take part in the activities of an election campaign.
“I will not be able to vote [in the election].” McBride said. “But, you know what I will be doing? Electioneering!”