SOUTH BEND, Indiana – As he climbed from obscurity to top-class presidential candidate this year, Mayor Pete Buttigieg steered his unlikely campaign into an argument that he hoped would fit right now and his relatively thin resume: what a nation Feeding up with great government really needs is to "make Washington look more like our best round towns and cities."
Now that South bend is in crisis during race, police and city leadership, this justification is driving the capital into the inconvenient reality that when things go sour, mayors can be held immediately and directly in a way that senators and congressional members are not.
The recent turmoil in South Bend ̵
For the first time, cracks in Buttigieg's body are going forward as he has struggled to find the right tone to respond to piercing issues from his own constituents about whether he is racist and what a black person's life means for him.
As a fast-paced town hall meeting on Sunday in South Bend fell into chaos – with participants screaming profanities on him, with his police chief and each other – Buttigieg seemed to divide between despondency over jeers, annoyance of being interrupted and wonky erudition as he offered explanations about local laws on police delusion that only twisted the crowd.
Once again, the collection spread after nearly two hours of meeting, the testiness of Buttigieg seemed to turn to grief as he marked issues from journalists. He became visibly emotional when asked if it would have been wise to keep the event given the joint war fight that eventually became.
"I just think it's my job," said Buttigieg. "I do not know if it is smart or not. I do not know whether it is strategic or not. But it is my city."
Buttigieg has tried to explain to his board members that the law clarifies exactly how official involved shootings to handle and investigate potential irregularities in the police – and that there is no kind of grief or anger justified may justify bypassing this process to punish people before the investigation is completed.
But in many individuals' eyes that came to his town hall, the answer was insufficient. So, Buttigieg has been abandoned by the vain task of trying to scratch an emotional itch for a caring society with few options available, but the eyes of national media and democratic voters see.
So the young mayor sought to strike a delicate balance between recognizing that his efforts to race and police to date have been insufficient and pressed for "the suggestion that we have done nothing". He said he hoped that black Americans who looked at the town hall would see a city facing the issue of racism on the head and adding, "We don't run away from it."
"This problem must be solved in my lifetime. I do not know of a person or city that has solved," said Buttigieg, after the crowd spread. "But I know that if we do not solve it in my life, the sinking America. "
In the packaged 2020 democratic presidential candidate, a few candidates bear the political burden that may come from being mayor. This year, most graduates are members of the congress that do not often blame specific events or crises in such a personal form. Although governors are judged by the well-being of their states, there are few years running this year, and governors are less often responsible for individual incidents like a shoot in a village.
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unexpectedly announced last year he would not run for a third time, it was commonly believed that the decision was associated with rebellion over his role in prolonging the police shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014. McDonald's name has become several times by South Bend residents invoked this past week compared to the slider here a week ago.
While another mayor runs into the democratic primary this year – New York's Bill de Blasio – his candidacy has not yet attracted anywhere near the attention of Buttigieg's.
And while New York has more than 8.5 million inhabitants, Buttigieg's position at the helm of a community of about 100,000 means that any misstep can ricochet more personally through out a close society with the eyes of national media and democratic primary voters.
"For a mayor it is different." Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, told NBC News. "It's difficult. In a political situation, everyone will take that event and all incidents and put it through the lens of the campaign."
"You can't control all messages," added Adler, who approved Buttigieg. "Everything you get to control is how you do your job."
For Buttigieg, the focus on his handling of police cases and race is one he had invited far before the slider in South Bend.
As he worked to explain why he is more qualified than President Trump or any of his democratic competitors to occupy the oval office, Buttigieg routinely mentioned his experience dealing with this particular situation.
"I know I'm the youngest person in race," he told the Washington Post in May. But Buttigieg argued that he had what the senators and businessmen and former vice-president all lacked: "The experience you get as mayor handles everything from an economic development puzzle to a racist-sensitive officer-involved recording – which literally gets at 3:00 am. "
Connecting problems for Buttigieg, the episode in South Bend seemed so great that he overlapped directly with his biggest obstacle as a candidate – his barely limited appeal to black voters. After spending weeks hanging on his message and financial plan for African Americans, Buttigieg just began to see the fruits of these efforts on the road to improved voting numbers with black voters in South Carolina when Eric Logan shooting took place.
As frustration in South Bend's African American society has built the week since it seems that there is a little clearer that little mayor could do or say that would sufficiently interfere with society's immediate desire , decisive action – except to terminate the chief of police and dismiss the officials involved or revoked himself.
"I think the mayor of the city should do something about this. And I just can't even see anything else he does, because every day I hear a new shooting going on and that's just unacceptable," said Susan Ellis from South Bend when she left Church Church Service on Sunday morning.  But asked exactly what Buttigieg could not do, Ellis replied, "I am not a politician. He is the mayor, he is the person who should have the ideas."