Although he was only 37 years old, the latter – a gay, seasoned mayor from South Bend, Indiana who ran for president in 2020 – inspired the now 81-year-old Paulding after speaking in a low language. Paulding represents a growing number of seniors who have gathered around Buttigieg for – not despite – his age. And she said after Buttigieg's speech that her millennial mayor's support for 76-year-old former vice-president Biden or 77-year-old Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was not abnormal.
"I'm ready to turn the power on," Paulding said. "Look at the mess we made of it."
"I like Joe, but I do not want Joe to become president. I think we just need a new leadership. I really feel that very strong. Obama has been a new year and has changed, and I think we need it. "
The contrast between Paulding, a retired educator and author, and Buttigieg, a young Democrat, is evident to the Octagenerian after the presidential candidate wrapped up She laughed and thought about how young he was to be her grandson.
"I'm ready to have someone who is young," she said with a shrug.
Paulding is not an isolated case.
As Buttigieg's popularity grows, the faces of its growing crowd are not only littered with young people who see the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana as a member of their mixed generation. Instead, Buttigieg noted a steady increase in support from seniors, with surveys showing that the age group may suffer in their support for Buttigieg in some cases is more viable than voters closer to the age of the mayor.
Jim Green, 75-year-old Vietnam War veteran and deputy chairman of The Democratic Party in Londonderry, New Hampshire, presented Buttigieg at a hearing session for veterans on Friday.
"I was thinking of his age when they asked me about the show," Green said laughing. But when he thought about it, Green said he thought Buttigieg had the right experience of being president, even at a young age. And as a veteran, he appreciates the fact that Buttigieg, as he did on Friday, has called for an end to the endless war.
"We are old enough and close enough at the end to look at it. There are some people who seem to be pushing things forward, and then there are other people resting," said Green, without supporting Buttigieg. "I have to think about my grandchildren and I think he's making things happen."
And Buttigieg noticed high-ranking support.
"What really helped us is that we have found the conditions for a generational alliance of people of all ages who are focused on the future and believe that it is time for a new generation to come forward," he said in April in front of a small audience in Marshalltown, Iowa.
The idea of forming such a coalition crops up again and again on the campaign – and Buttigieg has begun. Mention it at many of his events, apparently when he looks into the crowd and sees older faces.
During a trip to South Carolina in March, Buttigieg said he believes – despite the fact that the millennial generation is "sometimes misunderstood a little bit" – his campaign had the opportunity to "form a generational alliance for a better future to hope ".
"If we do not stop, who will do it?" He asked. "Who has more at stake than those who pick up the pieces of decisions that are being made?"
Jerry Pinneke, a 70-year-old democrat from Ankeny, Iowa, was at Buttigieg's speech in Marshalltown and "I appreciate Joe Biden a lot, but he's like me," Pinneke said. "He's an old guy and we've got to get rid of hell and get the younger people up there, like Pete."
Buttigieg told CNN on his April trip to Iowa that he believes the reason for supporting senior citizens is understanding them better than others, "how much change needs"?
"They are passionate about the idea of new ideas, new faces, and they are not afraid of that," said Buttigieg. "Of course, I'm happy to be able to involve other millennials in a way that allows us to connect with young voters … but that will not work if we can not make voters so close to my parents' voters." Age or older and it was really inspiring and exciting to see that in the crowd that comes.
While Buttigieg's high-ranking supporters seem attracted by some of his ideas – like his promise to invest billions in combating climate change and his plan to extend Medicare to every American who wants it – it seems to be his mere presence – the fact that he's been running a city like South Bend for eight years now that such a young candidate could stand a chance in a presidential election that activates his older followers.
And the attraction to seniors is nothing new to Buttigieg – though it remains somewhat confusing.
The mayor wrote in his Memoirs before the campaign "Shortest Way Home", that in his first election as mayor – when he was almost 30 years old – be In a survey of the city, older voters were identified as being "It was positive that I was 29 years old."
"To this day, I wonder why," he wrote. "Is it so that older voters are less likely to see differences between their twenties, thirties, and forties? Have I reminded them of their children? Whatever the reason, we've taken the data as a reminder that you should never accept who will win or win. " t support you. "
" I feel motherly towards him "
Interviews with some older Buttigieg proponents show how the Buttigieg observations seem to be valid.
" If I have a son, I want him to be just like him, "said Marty Davis, a 66-year-old Republican who, after informing many seniors on Facebook about Buttigieg, founded the group" Seniors for Pete Buttigieg " "I feel motherly towards him, to be honest. If you want the perfect children to guide our country in the perfect way, it would be Pete. "An encouragement from people who are old enough to be Buttigieg's mother or father, some write about giving them to their children While others note that they hardly see a difference between him and other slightly older candidates Palm Springs remarks, she has most clearly noticed, is that seniors are drawn to Buttigieg because of his age, not because they are ready to ignore it
Biden and Sanders "have been around for 40 years, they just are not that visionary for me so not attuned to my daughter's generation, which is very important to me," she said. "I want the generation of mine Daughter is now represented. "
The same applies to Lisa McAllister, a 60-year-old retired bank director who joined Davis' group after she began to learn more and more about Buttigieg online
] "I truly believe that the world belongs to this generation," said McAllister, who recently moved to Point Pilot, Texas after spending her life in the state of Washington. "I'm going to break up in the next 20 to 30 years and they really should make the decisions."
McAllister, who has a 30-year-old son, said they respect Millennials for growing up "If you're a patriot, if you love your country, you want the best not only for your current population, but also for the future, "she said. "You have to look at the mistakes we've made, and eventually we'll have to hand over power to those who live in the world that creates them."