Nov 24, 2019

Pete Buttigieg's mayoral transition will come at the perfect time

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, ends in January — freeing up the rising 2020 candidate’s schedule and opening the doors to new potential fundraising avenues just weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: Buttigieg hasn't been tied to his desk, but hometown responsibilities have occasionally taken him off the trail. Most notably, he paused campaigning in June after an officer-involved shooting of a black man sparked protests throughout his town.

  • But with a free calendar, Buttigieg can go all-in in Iowa. Meanwhile, his competitors from the Senate will likely be caught up in impeachment trials, dragging them to Washington and away from early-state voters.

Buttigieg counts many fans on Wall Street. But policies at several financial institutions limit employees from donating to sitting politicians when the transaction could be interpreted as pay-to-play.

  • Towns like South Bend typically don't garner a lot of Wall Street business, meaning it's unlikely that a sweeping number of employees have been blocked from funding the mayor. Nonetheless, Buttigieg's departure from executive power could free up that financial outlet at a vital time for the campaign.
  • Of note: The mayor already has enjoyed success with fundraising, hauling in $19.1 million in Q3.

The bottom line: The transition comes at a great time for Buttigieg. His polling is up, his fundraising is strong and his calendar is about to be a whole lot easier.

What to watch: Buttigieg's hand-picked successor will be sworn in on Jan. 1. The Iowa caucuses are on Feb. 3.

Go deeper: Buttigieg to face frontrunner scrutiny after surprise Iowa poll

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.