White House Hopefuls Face Low Barriers to Entry: When 2020 began, Pete Buttigieg was just ending his service as the mayor of South Bend, Ind., then the 307th largest city in the country. By the end of the year, he’d been nominated to run the federal Department of Transportation, becoming arguably the single best-known individual serving in President Biden’s Cabinet with a husband who’s a best-selling memoirist.
Running for president turned out to be a great career move for Buttigieg. It’s a game where you don’t have to win to come out way ahead. That’s one big reason why 11 Republicans are currently running, with former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum all making it official last week. On Thursday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined the crowd.
There was a time when voters had to choose only among a half-dozen or so candidates. In 1988, after better-known Democrats such as Bill Bradley and Sam Nunn opted not to run, the remaining candidates were known collectively as the “seven dwarfs.” But the big Republican field for 2024 follows two dozen Democratic hopefuls in 2020 and more than a dozen Republicans defeated by Donald Trump back in 2016.