Buttigieg celebrates book launch for "Shortest Way Home"

SOUTH BEND, IN. (WNDU) - South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his book Sunday afternoon.

“I thought it was inspiring,” St. Joseph County resident Kathleen Kolberg said. “The book is beautiful. It's about thinking about the future.”

There's nothing like cracking open a brand new book, especially one of a presidential hopeful.

“I was really glad to listen to his experiences of learning to become a mayor, the challenges he's faced and also the humility he has,” Mishawaka resident Charlene Rountree said.

Sunday afternoon, 800 people packed The Century Center for the official launch of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's book, "Shortest Way Home.”

He said the main character of the book is actually the city itself.

“I hope that the book gives an understanding not just of me but of our community, of our city, of what it's been through and of where it's headed,” Buttigieg said.

The event was moderated by our own Maureen McFadden.

Throughout the Q&A, Buttigieg discussed a wide variety of topics from his thoughts on Medicare-for-all.

“I think what we need to do with the vision of universal health care,” Buttigieg said. “Healthcare for all Americans through a Medicare-for-all concept is to make sure that we demonstrate that it actually works and then the support will follow.”

He also wants to fix the Electoral College.

“Twice in my lifetime the will of the American people was overruled by the Electoral College and I would say twice in our lifetime that didn't work out very well,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg believes the most important thing is to fix the country's democracy first.

“Every generation in American history has seen American ending in their lifetimes in a more democratic than it was in the beginning...except mine,” Buttigieg said. “We're actually backsliding on democracy right now.”

After the Q&A, a line wrapped around The Century Center to have books signed and the occasional selfie with the mayor.

Those in attendance say the mayor is able to resonate with not just the Midwest, but the entire country

“He is adaptable to finding solutions that are caring but also effective,” Rountree said.

“Well for one thing, he's very bright and yet very humble,” Kolberg said. “He listens, takes in that information, and then creates really good ideas in collaboration with others.”

There is still more than 600 days until the presidential election, but people at Sunday’s event are optimistic.

“I am all up for #PresidentPete!” Kolberg said.

The mayor just returned from Iowa where he says people were interested to hear his message.

Buttigieg has already formed a presidential exploratory committee.