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David Axelrod seems to think Pete Buttigieg is Obama reincarnate

Forget Beto O'Rourke. Former President Barack Obama's closest allies seem to be scoping out a new starry-eyed longshot.

Pete Buttigieg jumped into the 2020 race as the unmistakable underdog — he's the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also known as that city near Notre Dame. Yet somehow, he pulled together more fundraising dollars in the first quarter than Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), matched Sen. Cory Booker's (D-N.J.) rally numbers in the pouring rain, and even gotten the Obama campaign's chief strategist David Axelrod on his side, Olivia Nuzzi writes in a new profile for New York Magazine.

With his political experience limited to leading a city of 100,000 people, Buttigieg told Nuzzi that "candidly, I don't even know all the reasons why this is going so well." But he does have a few explanations for his success, namely the massive 2020 field he's starting to trounce. "I think the thing about having so many of us in the field is that ... you're not competing against any individual," Buttigieg explained. Buttigieg gets to just stand out and prove how he is "simply not like any of the others," he continued.

Axelrod seems to agree. To win in 2020, he thinks a Democrat has to "build a bridge" to President Trump voters who just need a little leftward push. "Buttigieg is uniquely able — and willing — to do this," Nuzzi explains via Axelrod's reasoning, "because such voters helped get him reelected" even when Vice President Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana. Eric Lesser, who worked for Obama and Axelrod, piled onto that thought, saying that like Obama, Buttigieg is "deeply thoughtful and intellectual" yet still "relatable."

Read more at New York Magazine.