Updated: Mar 9, 2020
With the focus on COVID-19 (coronavirus) there is an under reported outbreak which simultaneously hit hundreds of thousands if not millions late last Sunday: PP4PD (Post-Pete for President Depression). The symptoms of uncontrollable tears and malaise were and may still be evident for those of us who caught the fever around Pete Buttigieg's historic run and were willing to do whatever we could to make him the Democratic nominee.
Other conditions broke out around the same whirlwind news cycle: PA4PD (Amy Klobuchar) and PT4PD (Tom Steyer though assumed to be a more modest outbreak). Most recently, there is PM4PD (Mike Bloomberg) and as of last Thursday, PW4PD (Elizabeth Warren) broke out as well.
Within 24 hours the PP4PD infection mutated with Pete's endorsement of Joe Biden leaving us supporters in furious debate on how to process our heartbreak and disappointment while remaining engaged in the broader political fight. That Joe said Pete reminds him of Beau is a whole other episode which exacerbated PP4PD.
Many are coping through humor putting up memes my favorite being a photo of Pete and Joe with the slogan PB&J 2020. We allowed folks to suspend Pete's Rules of the Road to let our raw emotions show. Others adopted new photo frames of 'Team Pete for Joe' to maintain their connection as they move forward. Those who were able to vote on Super Tuesday took "voties" -- pics of their ballots choosing Joe Biden next to their Pete buttons with expressions of grief as well as trust in Pete's decision.
Almost a week out, I as someone who has never been as politically active until Pete still have PP4PD. I flew out to South Bend when Pete announced his candidacy, never mind my wet freezing feet and that a snowstorm had me delayed getting home. I joined the passionate Greater Philadelphia grassroots and collected emails and signatures to get Pete on the Pennsylvania primary ballot. When I had the chance to meet Pete in person and max out on my contributions, I happily did so. I got to host Mike Schmuhl, Pete's campaign manager at my home for a fundraiser. I even had Pete cookies made for the occasion. I was selected to be a Pete-pledged delegate candidate to the DNC convention and collected the required signatures to get myself into the April primary. Then all of it came to a screeching halt.
While I am making strides to heal, I'm still contemplating my own symbolic campaign within my congressional district to garner votes given that those pledged to Biden and Bernie Sanders are the ones left in contention. I was so confident in Pete that I already invested in buttons, postcards and street signs sitting in my campaign home office.
Team Pete unabashedly sported our Pete gear everywhere we went. We evangelized at parties and in the workplace. We held regular Pete-ups and organized monthly volunteer work which was encouraged by his campaign. There was the successful Barnstormers for Pete and other activist groups which showed up in full force in the early states. We believed we were a movement to #WinTheEra and that his policies were the most practical and progressive to #ChangetheChannel for America. We all loved Pete for what he stood for and want to keep that spirit going in all that we do.
While sufferers of PP4PD should still vote in the remaining primaries and general election, the question remains: what is the eventual cure for PP4PD? Many of us are still hoping that Joe chooses him as his running mate. Some say Secretary of State or another prominent cabinet post will soothe the pain. But nothing will eradicate PP4PD like another Pete run for the White House.