I don't think South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is going to be the next President of the United States, but he could be the next vice presidential candidate.

There is no doubt that Pete Buttigieg has packed a lot of life experience into less than 40 years on the planet. He is being taken seriously as the next leader of the free world at an age when most politicians are getting ready to run for their first time for Congress or the state senate.

But his real strength might be as the No. 2 candidate on the Democratic Party ticket in 2020. Assuming Donald Trump keeps Vice President Mike Pence on the ticket with him, Mayor Pete is a natural to try and make the state of Indiana competitive in the Electoral College. Perhaps that was his thinking when he took on Pence over his religious views and gay marriage.

Mayor Pete is gay and married. He is also a Rhodes Scholar and a Navy veteran who served in Afganistan doing counterterrorism work. He has served multiple terms as the mayor of the city that is famous as the home of the University of Notre Dame.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden beat John McCain and Sarah Palin in Indiana in 2008. Four years later, the Democrat incumbents lost the Hoosier State to the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Democrats have also succeeded in electing their candidates to the U.S. Senate in recent elections.

Mayor Pete brings lots to the table for the Democrats in 2020, including possibly the 11 votes from Indiana in the Electoral College.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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