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Is the Mayor of Pittsburgh Considering a Run for the Presidency?

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

With the 2020 presidential elections underway, there are clear indicators of who is going the run for President, who is considering a run for the Presidency, and who may sit this election cycle out. The indicators can be measured by the frequency of activity on their social media platforms, the topics that they consistently address when speaking with the public, and to what extent their stance on particular issues shifts based off of public opinion. If you look back to the actions of current presidential candidates prior to their announcements, you will see that they all fit these criteria.

In the past few years, Pittsburgh's mayor, Bill Peduto, has gained national attention.He has appeared on national news media outlets, challenged President Donald Trump on current subjects, and has been actively vocal on his social media platforms. As a Democrat, he has promoted and executed the party's agenda in the city of Pittsburgh. His quick and honorable response to the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting put him on the world stage in regards to discussing sensible gun control in order to prevent events such as this from being able to occur.

With there being 21 Democrats currently fighting for the party's nomination, the window of opportunity for Mayor Peduto to start fundraising and campaigning for a shot at the White House may not be wide open. From seasoned politicians, to younger, less experienced presidential hopefuls, the Democratic primary is crowded with like-minded candidates who are tirelessly trying to distinguish themselves from the 20 other candidates. The fact that there are 21 Democrats who have already announced their bid for the presidency makes it very unlikely that Peduto will seek the White House in 2020 because the overcrowded field alone would overshadow the national attention that he has been gaining.

Although it is unlikely that Peduto will announce a 2020 presidential bid, this does not conclude that he is not considering a run for the presidency. The window of opportunity may have shut for him now, but that is in no way to suggest that he is not considering a presidential bid in 2024 or 2028. If you review the criteria listed above that can be used to make predictions about whether a person will run for President, Peduto fits the description almost perfectly. He has taken a strong stance on gun control, which is a discussion being had at the national level. He addresses current issues being discussed and debated in Washington on his social media platforms. Although his positions on issues have not changed much, the extent to which he addresses these topics has become more frequent, demonstrating a clear and concise stance on specific issues.

As mayor, Peduto has the opportunity to sit this election cycle out, gain national attention while bulding his public-works resume, and observe how well South Bend Indiana Mayor, Peter Buttigieg, does in both the primary election and the general election (provided that he wins the party's nomination). Peduto is currently at an advantage: he is able to observe how well Buttigieg does during the primaries. He can focus on what Buttigieg does wrong and what he does right. Through Buttigieg's campaign of trial and error, Peduto and his team will be able to asses the likelihood of a successful presidential run in the future.

Although it is unlikely that Peduto will run for the presidency in the current election cycle, it is likely that he is at least considering a run in the future. If Trump is reelected, the Democratic primary will probably attract a large pool of candidates. With four more years, Peduto will be able to establish himself on the world stage and be able to distinguish himself from his primary contenders. He will be able to analyze the successes and failures of Buttigieg's campaign, providing him with insight on the best practices for running for President with the credentials of a mayor. If one of the Democrats is successful in ousting Trump, Peduto may not see the window of opportunity to run for President until as early as 2028 assuming that the sitting Democratic President will run uncontested for reelection in 2024. Pay attention, Pittsburgh; we may be relocating our current mayor from Harrisburg, PA to Washington DC.

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