Democratic Strategist Decries Buttigieg's Popularity: 'Sexism Is Alive and Well in 2020'

April 26, 2019

Democratic strategic Alexis Grenell said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's growing popularity, which has surpassed that of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) among 2020 candidates, is a sign of "sexism" within the Democratic Party.

"I think sexism is alive and well in 2020," Grenell said during a Friday appearance on CNN's Newsroom. "When we see smart, specific, incredibly qualified women articulating a vision, somehow that is less sexy than a mayor from a town that is barely 100,000 people, who won re-election with 8,500 votes and who thinks that policy is minutia. That is a huge problem and it's ingrained in this larger systematic of smart women as somehow being less cool."

Grenell said she was disappointed in particular with Democrats for not liking Warren more than Buttigieg.

"I think that is so sad and disappointing, especially because Elizabeth Warren is a stand-out," Grenell said. "She would be a stand-out in any room, and her career has been exceptional."

In addition, Grenell criticized the recent media fascination with Buttigieg's favorite books, which include many classics of mid-20th century fiction. The media should focus instead on Warren's career as an author and college professor, Grenell said.

"Mayor Pete is 37 and bright, and could, I think, probably be one of her a students in her classes," Grenell said. "She's the teacher and written 11 books while we're obsessing over Pete Buttigieg loving Ulysses. This is absurd."

In March, Grenell attacked Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), as well as fellow candidates Beto O'Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden, calling for these three white men to drop out of the race.

"There's sort of an implicit bias here that a woman can't beat Trump," she said on Newsroom.

"It's unspoken, it's unsaid," Grenell continued, "but already they've raised millions of dollars more than the female candidates in the race who have this uphill battle, period, regardless of whether there are men in the race, to be taken seriously."