Friday, February 28, 2020

Black Leaders Pray for Trump at Black History Month Celebration


NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump was prayed over by a group of black religious and political leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Thursday.

The president held a news conference and meeting and addressed the group of roughly two dozen black leaders.

African American supporters lay their hands on President Donald Trump as they pray for him at the conclusion of a news conference and meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House February 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

African Americans pray for President Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Among those present were Alveda King, actor Isaiah Washington, World Boxing Champion Andre Berto, former NFL player and entrepreneur Jack Brewer, Pastor Darrell Scott, Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, a.k.a. “Diamond and Silk,” Black Voices for Trump advisory board members Paris Denard, Deneen Borelli, and David Harris Jr., and author and activist Candace Owens.

President Trump also addressed hundreds of black leaders on Thursday in the East Room in a ceremony commemorating Black History Month.

“In every field, every generation, and every calling, African-Americans have lifted up our nation to new heights — and, like all citizens, you are entitled to a government that puts your needs, your interests, and your families first,” Trump said.

Jerome Hudson is Breitbart News Entertainment Editor and author of the bestselling book 50 Things They Don’t Want You to Know. Order your copy today. Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter and Instagram @jeromeehudson

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

In Democratic debate, 3 winners and 4 losers in a two-hour street fight

Bret Baier breaks down his top takeaways from the South Carolina debate.

There was a two-hour street fight in South Carolina Tuesday night that turned into something that resembled a debate between the seven leading Democratic presidential candidates.

The only way to view this final debate before the South Carolina primary Saturday and Super Tuesday March 3 is whether it changed the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The answer that it did not.

That means that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. is still the front-runner. Some other candidates had good performances, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden. Other candidates had a bad night, especially former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

But the only measure that matters is how the debate affects the race – especially when it could be over on Super Tuesday. The debate didn’t change anything for Sanders. And that made it a very good night for him.

It is remarkable that Sanders, on his second run for president, has hardly been vetted to this day. A series of interviews and articles leading up to the debate served to underscore that fact, as did his performance Tuesday night.

Sanders had trouble answering a number of questions about socialism, authoritarianism, guns, and how to pay for his costly health care and education plans. At one point he was booed and that rattled him more than any question.

But to stop Sanders from securing an insurmountable delegate lead on Super Tuesday, the competing candidate needed to derail or disqualify him in the debate. That didn’t happen. And that means it’s more likely than not that Sanders could wrap up the race for the Democratic presidential nomination next week when California – the most delegate-rich of the 14 Super Tuesday states – finishes counting its ballots.

Warren had another strong performance in the debate, making her case against Sanders and Bloomberg as well as for herself. While her attacks didn’t spark the fireworks of the debate last week, Tuesday marked the first time she drew strong contrasts between herself and Sanders.

Warren was very effective and very deft, but it is late in the primary campaign. Better late than never. But Warren will wish she had taken this approach a month ago. It would have served her well.

There’s no one better prepared with better plans and clearer ideas to do a good job as president than Warren. Unfortunately for her, that won’t get her enough delegates in the upcoming contests.

Biden had his best performance of late. He showed a lot of fight and that’s what his supporters needed to see – especially in South Carolina. No doubt Biden shored up his support going into the primary Saturday when he needs it most, leaning on his relationship with former President Barack Obama and his own record to make the case.

The fact is that the biggest threat to Joe Biden throughout this race has been Joe Biden. He didn’t sabotage himself Tuesday night and did what he needed to do. But that’s not likely to get him enough delegates to catch Sanders, even with a win Saturday.

Finally, it was another bad night for Bloomberg. It’s clear he went to debate camp to prepare for this one – but it didn’t work.

Yes, a few of Bloomberg’s lines were better than when he debated for the first time last week. But his canned jokes failed and his lack of awareness about his treatment of women was fatal.

Warren’s continued attacks on Bloomberg – specifically about his treatment of women – were met with more dismissive responses that were not only tone deaf but also wrong. In addition, the Bloomberg campaign ran ads during the debate that served to remind voters that the guy on the stage isn’t the guy in the ads.

Bloomberg is 0-2 in the debates and all the money in the world can’t fix it.

Here are the night’s biggest winners and losers:


BIGGEST WINNER: Bernie Sanders

Sanders walked into the debate as the front-runner and walked out as the front-runner. And that makes him the likely nominee if he does well, as expected, on Super Tuesday.     
What should trouble many Democrats about Sanders is his continued inability or unwillingness to address how he’s going to pay the $60 trillion for his promises and programs, including “Medicare-for-all.” Sanders is using the same answer he’s been using for weeks – ducking the details, joking about how much time it would take, referring to nickels and dimes in a condescending manner.

The lack of response to that question raises questions about Sanders’ unwillingness to release his medical records. In many way he’s much like Trump with a lack of transparency about matters that matter. Yet Sanders is on his way to the nomination to face Trump.

WINNER: Elizabeth Warren

The strategy Warren employed Tuesday night is the one she should have been using for the past month: saying that while she holds similar positions to Sanders, she can turn those ideas into reality and get the job done.

With more time that approach could take a good number of votes from Sanders. And that could put Warren in the hunt for the nomination again.

There was no better debater on the stage than Warren as she made her case with substance and style that she employed once again in devastating fashion with Bloomberg.

In addition to raising more questions about Bloomberg’s treatment of women, Warren pointed out all the Republicans whose campaigns he contributed to, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. She noted that Bloomberg also made campaign contributions to former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who was defeated by Warren.

No one has hurt Bloomberg more than Warren in the two debates he participated in and in the nomination race.

But it all may be too little too late for Warren. Barring a cataclysmic event in the next week or on route to the convention, Warren is unlikely to catch Sanders.

WINNER: Joe Biden

Biden had his best debate performance when he needed it the most. His performance should reassure South Carolina voters and that will help Biden in the primary Saturday.

South Carolina is considered a must-win state for Biden and he has said he will win. But even a big win in South Carolina isn’t likely to enable Biden to gain ground on Sanders, and that’s the name of the game.


BIGGEST LOSER: Mike Bloomberg

At one point during the debate as it went to the first commercial break, Bloomberg checked his watch. This was reminiscent of President George H.W. Bush during a debate that marked the end of his chances to defeat challenger Bill Clinton.

The same could be true of Bloomberg. All the money in the world isn’t going to help Bloomberg win this race because in the end, you can’t hide the real Bloomberg.

The ads are a great substitute for Bloomberg. But the real Bloomberg has been revealed in these debates. Warren has shown him to be the antithesis of how he is portrayed in his nearly half-billion dollars of advertising.

It is the real-life person voters are casting their ballots for – not the one portrayed in ads. That’s the real problem for Bloomberg and it was on full display again Tuesday night.

LOSER: Pete Buttigieg

Once again, Buttigieg -- the former mayor of South Bend., Ind.,-- delivered a serviceable debate performance with his well-packaged talking points and lines. But it didn’t change the challenges he faces in the upcoming contests with voters of color.

Instead, Buttigieg rang the alarm throughout the debate about the risks that face the country and the Democratic Party if Sanders is nominated. However, raising these concerns fell woefully short of what was necessary for him to be successful.

This adds to Buttigieg’s woes in the remainder of this campaign and keeps him in the cycle of moderate voter cannibalism that could deny all of the moderates the nomination.

LOSER: Amy Klobuchar

The New Hampshire debate is now officially a one-hit-wonder for Sen. Klobuchar of Minnesota. Her performance in the two debates since that night fell short of that one, and so too will her prospects in the remaining contests as a result.

 LOSER: Tom Steyer

Like his fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg, Tom Steyer has an endless reservoir of money to stay in the race. It has done little to improve his debate performance but it has put him in contention for third place in the South Carolina primary. That hurts Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar and it doesn’t help Steyer – but it does help Sanders.

Mary Anne Marsh is a Democratic political analyst and a principal at Dewey Square Group in Boston where she provides strategic counsel for Fortune 100 companies, non-profits and political campaigns.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Wow: Trump Given Incredible Welcome in India

By Leah Barkoukis | Townhall.Com

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Ahemdabad gives a rousing Reception to PM Shri Narendra Modi ji and Donald Trump.

Electric Atmosphere at Motera Stadium as people eagerly wait to welcome President Trump.

Instead of red #MAGA hats, the cricket stadium on India is full of white #NamasteTrump hats... so cool to see.

The entire packed Motera stadium erupts in huge cheer to welcome President Trump as #NamasteTrump reverberates all around.

“The First Lady and I have just traveled 8,000 miles around the globe to deliver a message to every citizen across this nation: America loves India — America respects India — and Americans will always be true and loyal friends to the Indian people,” Trump said in Gujarat. 

He thanked India for the incredibly warm welcome they were given, saying they "will remember it forever."

"From this day on, India will always hold a very special place in our heart," he said.

The president is in the country to discuss bilateral trade and security issues.
The trip comes amid a tit-for-tat trade dispute between the two countries. 

Negotiators worked to try to secure a deal before Trump's visit, but talks fizzled over India’s protectionist policies and a scope of differences including e-commerce and digital trade, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters ahead of the trip. 

 The U.S. wants more access to Indian markets on agricultural products and medical devices while India is aiming to restore its preferential status in a trade program for developing countries.

Trump said he planned to continue trade discussions with Modi during his visit, calling the prime minister a "tough" negotiator. He said he planned to make a "very very major - among the biggest ever - trade deals," but added talks were in "the early stages. (USA Today)

"I think that the Prime Minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that is good and even great for our two countries…except he's a very tough negotiator," Trump said. 

The president also announced a $3 billion defense deal. 

“The United States looks forward to providing India with the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made – airplanes, missiles, rockets, ships. We make the best, and we are dealing now with India,” Trump said.

“I am pleased to announce that tomorrow our representatives will sign deals to sell over $3 billion in the absolute finest, state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” he added.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Sanders Democrats

By The Editorial Board

Senator Bernie Sanders in San Antonio, Texas following his caucus win in Nevada - PHOTO: BOB DAEMMRICH/ZUMA PRESS

Bernie’s rout in Nevada makes him the favorite for the nomination.

Democrats now know how millions of Republicans felt in 2016. A populist with devoted plurality support charges through the primary and caucus states, racking up delegates against multiple “establishment” candidates who all want to be the last alternative standing. Before the media knew it, Donald Trump could not be stopped.

With his overwhelming victory in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday, Bernie Sanders is on the road to pulling off a similar coup against the Democratic Party. The Vermont socialist performed even better than his polling and was leading with 46% of the vote with 60% of the precincts reporting Sunday morning.

He did well with most voter groups, but especially the young and Latinos. Many of his supporters may not know what socialism means in practice, but they like his angry demands for social justice and for government to fix all of America’s inequities.

As important, his competitors continued to divide the vote with no single candidate breaking out as a dominant challenger. Joe Biden was second with 19.6%, giving him a talking point going into next Saturday’s make-or-break primary in South Carolina. Pete Buttigieg was third with 15.3%—close to the 15% state-wide threshold to gain delegates.

The result was especially painful for Amy Klobuchar, who couldn’t build on her strong showing in New Hampshire. She was in fifth with 4.8%. Elizabeth Warren vows to fight on but she didn’t turn her savaging of Michael Bloomberg in last week’s debate into enough support and was fourth at 10.1%
Mr. Sanders will now go into the Palmetto State against the same divided field. 

All of the candidates except for Messrs. Sanders and Bloomberg (and the fading billionaire Tom Steyer ) lack the money to compete with more than token TV ads in the Super Tuesday states that follow three days after South Carolina. Mr. Bloomberg won’t be on the ballot until Super Tuesday.

The Democratic Party has put itself in this position by front-loading so many primaries and creating a proportional allocation system for delegates. Anyone who gets 15% of the vote in a state gets some delegates, which plays into the hands of a candidate like Mr. Sanders who has solid support on the left. No Democrat can now do what Ronald Reagan did in 1976 by winning a primary in late March in North Carolina and surging to win all the delegates in many later states and nearly take the nomination from President Gerald Ford.

All of which makes Mr. Sanders the clear favorite for the Democratic nomination even after a mere three contests. He might still be stoppable if someone can beat him in South Carolina and reduce his margins in the 14 Super Tuesday states. There is much pundit talk about a contested July convention in Milwaukee. But that is less likely than the chatter says unless Mr. Sanders is held to a narrow plurality of delegates. Even then Mr. Sanders will claim he deserves the nomination and that insider elites want to steal it.

The other candidates have contributed to this predicament by failing to challenge Mr. Sanders and his socialist agenda. They dispute his Medicare for All math, and his electability in November, but ever so gently. They all offer some version of Bernie Lite, and none speak up for the private economy.

Mr. Bloomberg made a halting stab at it in last week’s debate but the other candidates devoted their time to bludgeoning the businessman for his ancient sins against identity politics. Mr. Sanders got a pass, as he has the entire primary season. Mr. Buttigieg finally put the boot and some edge against Mr. Sanders into his remarks on Saturday night in Nevada, but the question is whether it’s too late.

Democrats are waking to the prospect of a nominee who wants to eliminate private health insurance, raise taxes on the middle class, ban fracking and put government in charge of energy production, make college a taxpayer entitlement, offer free health care to illegal immigrants, raise spending by $50 trillion, and tag every down-ballot Democrat with the socialist label.

All of these are political vulnerabilities, but Republicans shouldn’t be too sanguine that Mr. Sanders would be an easy November mark. A majority of Americans aren’t socialist, at least not yet, but the country is closely divided politically. Democrats and the media will close ranks behind Mr. Sanders as an alternative to the incumbent.

Mr. Trump might also make the election a referendum on himself—meaning his personal behavior and character—rather than the socialist agenda. That’s an election Bernie Sanders could win. Democrats have little time left if they want to offer the country a better choice.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Stone Sentencing Ends Russia Collusion, Part I

By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY | National Review

But the Democrats are cooking up an even weaker sequel.

The Roger Stone sentencing farce is as fitting an end to the Russia Collusion saga as one could conjure up . . .  though it might be more fitting to call it the end of Russia Collusion, Part I. No sooner did the first flick conclusively bomb than the media-Democrat complex was issuing the casting call for Russia Collusion, Part II.

In the sequel, you’re asked to believe that Putin is manipulating the chesspieces to steal a second term for President Trump.

Somehow preferring an incumbent who beefs up the U.S. armed forces, pressures NATO allies to beef up theirs, imposes painful sanctions on Moscow, provides lethal aid to Ukraine, ramps up U.S. energy production, and seeks to thwart the Kremlin’s coveted natural-gas partnership with Germany, over an unabashed socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and whose policies would wreck the American economy, end the resurgence of American energy production, and hollow out the American armed forces.

It’s a lunatic plot. But the scriptwriters no doubt figure that if they can peddle what they’ve been peddling for the last two weeks, they can peddle anything.

Stone was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment. This was smack in the middle of the federal sentencing guidelines’ range — 37 to 46 months — that Attorney General Bill Barr’s Justice Department argued would be a reasonable term. The AG’s position was a second-guess of the Stone trial’s prosecutors. 

That team, dominated by Mueller fabulists who portrayed the Stone case as Watergate revisited, had recommended something closer to a nine-year sentence.

The severity of the trial team’s recommendation was objectively absurd. It was, more to the point, merely a recommendation — as was Barr’s milder but still stiff counter. It had no legally binding effect whatsoever on the judge. 

In federal law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, the judge decides the sentence. 

Not only is the sentencing court free to ignore any recommendation from prosecutors, which judges do with frequency; the court is free to ignore the guidelines — the regime Congress introduced in the 1980s in a (moderately successful) effort to end obscene disparities in sentences imposed on similarly situated defendants.

Nevertheless, Barr’s entirely reasonable position was castigated by Democrats, their media notetakers, and progressive lawyers who have transformed the organized bar into just another left-wing hack. 

These last included a couple thousand former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials, who took a break from writing donation checks for their favorite Democratic demagogues to sign a petition demanding Barr’s resignation.

Strangely silent, though they were, when Obama AG Eric Holder was being held in contempt for misleading and obstructing Congress’s investigation of the Fast & Furious scandal, in which the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer was just part of the lethal fallout from the Obama Justice Department’s reckless gun-walking scheme.

A Democratic presidential aspirant, Senator Elizabeth Warren, trained up for her ruthless Bloomberg bashing by, of course, calling for Barr’s impeachment.

Understand: There was nothing to this. It was a total fabrication. 

The partisans behind this frippery knew full well that the Justice Department’s submissions had no legal effect. 

Barr could not have slashed Stone’s sentence even if he wanted to. 

The sentence was always going to be imposed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson. She, like federal judges across the country, is just as steeped in sentencing law as Justice Department lawyers. Judges, as Jackson demonstrated at Stone’s hearing on Thursday, have very strong feelings about the guidelines, based on study and the need to grapple with them almost daily.

Moreover, in every sentencing case, judges get guidelines calculations from the court-administered Probation Department, as well as from the defendant’s counsel. They don’t need the prosecutor to tell them what either the law or their authority to apply it is.

Not only are they intimately aware of these things; the brute fact is that sending another human being to prison is the hardest thing judges have to do. No matter how loathsome the defendant is, there are almost always other lives — those of children, spouses, parents, loved ones, business associates — that are damaged by a sentence of incarceration. 

We in the peanut gallery get to bloviate about sentences, but then we go on with our day. Judges agonize over them. It is personal and stressful. 

Judges listen respectfully, but they don’t let a prosecutor or anyone else tell them what to do. They analyze potential sentences from every angle, and still worry, even years later, whether the calls they’ve made were the right ones for all concerned.

It was a slander to claim that Barr was doing Trump’s bidding. 

The president wants Stone’s case to disappear. 

Barr, to the contrary, held firm that the seven felony convictions were righteous, and urged that a sentence of between three and four years for an elderly first-offender would be appropriate. And then he publicly protested against the president’s tweeting about pending criminal cases and investigations, because such commentary undermines the Justice Department’s mission.

Barr’s Justice Department acknowledged that the trial prosecutors’ construction of the guidelines was literally correct, including their factoring of a guidelines enhancement that would have inflated Stone’s sentence drastically. 

The Justice Department, however, contended that the prosecutors’ guidelines calculation was ultimately unreasonable because it was out of proportion with the gravity of the offense. 

In the end, Judge Jackson drew the same conclusion. Though her guidelines path to 40 months was somewhat different from DOJ’s, she came out in the same place — because 40 months, no matter how you get there, is reasonable . . . even if Senator Warren would have you think it’s impeachable.

Of course, this would not be the Russia probe if Trump antagonists were not peddling the collusion narrative. 

So Judge Jackson couldn’t resist. Stone, she inveighed at Thursday’s hearing, was not prosecuted “for standing up to the president,” as his apologists maintain; no, “he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.

Covering up what? That the Trump campaign might have been hoping that an outside source like WikiLeaks might be planning to leak damaging information about an opponent, just as the Clinton campaign was giddy when someone leaked Trump’s tax information to the New York Times?

So what? That wasn’t the collusion narrative. What the media-Democrat complex purported was that Trump conspired with Russia to hack Democratic emails in order to hurt Clinton and swing the election to Trump. 

If anything, the Stone case demonstrated, yet again, that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy — if there had been, the hapless Stone would not have been beating the bushes for clues about what WikiLeaks was up to.

Judge Jackson is too smart not to know that when she pregnantly claims Stone was “covering up for the president,” that will be twisted into a suggestion — from a federal court, no less — that there really was Trump–Russia collusion. No wonder the judge had such praise for the trial prosecutors. 

She was taking a page out of the Mueller playbook.

The Mueller prosecutors knew they had no evidence of a Kremlin–Trump conspiracy. 

The indictments they filed against Russian actors elucidate that Moscow neither needed nor wanted American collaborators. 

But the politicized probe featured the Mueller two-step: First, charge process crimes against such saps as Stone, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn; then, rather than writing concise charges, as prosecutors typically do in such mundane cases, exploit the opportunity to craft extravagant collusion narratives. 

In each indictment, we’re treated to pages and pages of big wind about Russians and WikiLeaks and emails; then, you flip to the end only to find that there’s no rain — somebody lied about the date of a meeting, or threatened a dog, or just did his job as incoming national-security adviser.

And now we’re on to Russia Collusion II. 

Already it is shaping up like the original: a sprawling, incoherent, implausible mess of a plot, with a B-movie cast and the same ending — Trump gets impeached, this time probably in 2022. Another bomb, but hopefully the attorney general will stick around to see it.

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, an NR contributing editor, and author of BALL OF COLLUSION: THE PLOT TO RIG AN ELECTION AND DESTROY A PRESIDENCY@andrewcmccarthy

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pete Buttigieg's father was a Marxist professor who lauded the Communist Manifesto

By Emily Larsen  & Joseph Simonson  | The Washington Examiner

Democrat Party Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

The father of Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg was a Marxist professor who spoke fondly of the Communist Manifesto and dedicated a significant portion of his academic career to the work of Italian Communist Party founder Antonio Gramsci, an associate of Vladimir Lenin.

Joseph Buttigieg, who died in January at the age of 71, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s from Malta and in 1980 joined the University of Notre Dame faculty, where he taught modern European literature and literary theory. He supported an updated version of Marxism that jettisoned some of Marx and Engel's more doctrinaire theories, though he was undoubtedly Marxist.

He was an adviser to Rethinking Marxism, an academic journal that published articles “that seek to discuss, elaborate, and/or extend Marxian theory,” and a member of the editorial collective of Boundary 2, a journal of postmodern theory, literature, and culture. He spoke at many Rethinking Marxism conferences and other gatherings of prominent Marxists.

In a 2000 paper for Rethinking Marxism critical of the approach of Human Rights Watch, Buttigieg, along with two other authors, refers to "the Marxist project to which we subscribe."

In 1998, he wrote in an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education about an event in New York City celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Manifesto. He also participated in the event.

"If The Communist Manifesto was meant to liberate the proletariat, the Manifesto itself in recent years needed liberating from Marxism's narrow post-Cold War orthodoxies and exclusive cadres. It has been freed," he wrote.

"After a musical interlude, seven people read different portions of the Manifesto. Listening to it read, one could not help but be struck by the poignancy of its prose," he wrote. The readers "had implicitly warned even us faithful to guard against conferring upon it the status of Scripture, a repository of doctrinal verities."

“Equity, environmental consciousness, and racial justice are surely some of the ingredients of a healthy Marxism. Indeed, Marxism's greatest appeal — undiminished by the collapse of Communist edifices — is the imbalances produced by other sociopolitical governing structures,” Buttigieg wrote.

Paul Kengor, a professor at Grove City College and an expert in communism and progressivism, said Buttigieg was among a group of leftist professors who focused on injecting Marxism into the wider culture.

"They’re part of a wider international community of Marxist theorists and academicians with a particular devotion to the writings of the late Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, who died over 80 years ago. Gramsci was all about applying Marxist theory to culture and cultural institutions — what is often referred to as a 'long march through the institutions,' such as film, media, and especially education," Kengor told the Washington Examiner.

Pete Buttigieg, an only child, shared a close relationship with his father. In his memoir Shortest Way Home, Pete called his dad a “man of the left, no easy thing on a campus like Notre Dame’s in the 1980s.”

He wrote that while he did not understand his parents’ political discussions as a young child, “the more I heard these aging professors talk, the more I wanted to learn how to decrypt their sentences, and to grasp the political backstory of the grave concerns that commanded their attention and aroused such fist-pounding dinner debate.”

Pete wrote that his dad was supportive when he came out as gay. 

He and his husband bought a house in South Bend around the corner from his parents, which gave the couple “a good support network despite our work and travel schedules” when they decided to get a dog.

The elder Buttigieg was best known as one of the world’s leading scholars of Gramsci.

Gramsci thought cultural change was critical to dismantling capitalism. Nevertheless, although critical of certain aspects of Bolshevism, Gramsci endorsed Vladimir Lenin’s “maximalist” politics and identified within the Leninist faction of the Italian communists. He went to Moscow in 1922 as the official representative of the Italian Communist Party and returned home to lead the resistance against Italy’s Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, on the orders of Lenin, while his new wife and children stayed in the USSR.

Those efforts landed Gramsci in an Italian prison, where he lived much of his brief life, which ended in 1937 at the age of 46. Yet his time behind bars was also some of his most prolific, leading to a collection of essays called the Prison Notebooks. Buttigieg completed the authoritative English translation of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, and his articles on Gramsci have been translated into five languages.

Buttigieg was a founding member and president of the International Gramsci Society, an organization that aims to “facilitate communication and the exchange of information among the very large number of individuals from all over the world who are interested in Antonio Gramsci's life and work and in the presence of his thought in contemporary culture.”

In 2013, Buttigieg spoke at a $500,000 outdoor New York City art installation honoring Gramsci.

Buttigieg died just days after Mayor Pete announced his 2020 presidential exploratory committee.

Lis Smith, communications adviser for Buttigieg’s presidential exploratory committee, declined to comment on how his father influenced his political beliefs or on Pete Buttigieg's thoughts on Marxist thinkers such as Gramsci.

Pete Buttigieg said in an MSNBC interview on March 20 that he considers himself a capitalist but that the system needs changes.

“The biggest problem with capitalism right now is the way it's become intertwined with power and is eroding our democracy,” Buttigieg said, noting the influence of big businesses in government.

A self-described progressive, Buttigieg has called to abolish the Electoral College system, supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and thinks that climate change is a national security threat.

In another MSNBC interview in February, Buttigieg said that socialism “is a word in American politics that has basically lost all meaning” and “has been used as a kill switch to stop an idea from being talked about.”

After his son won his mayoral election in 2011, Joseph Buttigieg told the Notre Dame student newspaper that he never expected him to run for office.

“I know Peter has been interested in politics for a long time,” Buttigieg said. “At home we always discussed government affairs, but never in that way … I’m very pleased because he’s doing something he genuinely likes."