By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - With his campaign flush with cash but flagging in the polls with virtually no support from African-Americans, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled his "Douglass Plan" on Thursday.

Buttigieg explains, “Black Americans continue to live in the shadow of systemic racism. This is a fact, and one that requires bold action to reverse. To see equity in our time, it will not be enough to simply replace centuries of racism with non-racist policies. We must intentionally put anti-racist policies in place to close the gaps those centuries of policy created. Today, I’m proud to share with you The Douglass Plan, named after American hero Frederick Douglass, and comparable in scale to the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.” 

Buttigieg, who posted $25 million on his second FEC report but has slipped into single digits in recent national polls, describes it as a “comprehensive and intentional effort to dismantle racist structures and systems, combined with an investment of unprecedented scale in the freedom and self-determination of Black Americans. Our generation can and must right the wrongs. By reforming broken health, education, and criminal justice systems; strengthening access to credit, and injecting capital into Black enterprises and neighborhoods, we can take aggressive steps toward fulfilling long-broken promises of true equality. I believe this is our last, best chance at a more perfect union for all. The ultimate well-being of millions of people — not distant descendants but children alive today — depends on whether we can resolve these inequalities in our time. 

Earlier this week, Politico reported that while Buttigieg won reelection in 2015 with 80% of the vote, his pluralities in South Bend black precincts lagged behind is 2011 election numbers. Buttigieg announced he is gay prior to the 2015 election. Detailed precinct results from South Bend’s 2011 and 2015 mayoral races show Buttigieg repeatedly lagging behind black primary challengers in many of western South Bend’s predominantly black neighborhoods. By 2015, western South Bend gave him his weakest results after his support plunged by more than 20 points in some precincts.

And Vice.com report that 17% of South Carolina Democrats said they would not back a gay candidate for president, according to a Gallup survey released in April. An ongoing Pew Research Center poll registered similar findings: Just four in 10 black Protestants — a group that includes roughly 70% of all black South Carolinians — support same-sex marriage.

Buttigieg ramping up in Iowa, NH

Buttigieg is now rapidly expanding his campaign’s footprint to try and build on his financial gains in the first half of the year (Politico). In Iowa, Buttigieg’s campaign added 30 organizers at the end of June, filling out what had previously been a four-person skeleton crew. A dozen staffers are now on board in New Hampshire. And by the end of the summer, there will be many more. The campaign plans to swell its staff to 300 people by Labor Day, according to multiple people briefed on its plans.“The whole point of all that fundraising is making sure we have the organization we need to win,” Buttigieg continued. “Obviously, we’ve got great news on that front. Now we’ve got to get to work.”

Warren raises $19M

Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign announced Monday she raised $19.1 million in the second quarter of the year, more than tripling her first-quarter total despite holding no fundraisers (Politico). The haul far exceeded expectations, as Warren surpassed both Bernie Sanders ($18 million) and Kamala Harris ($12 million) and came close to Joe Biden ($21.5 milllion). Her outpacing of Sanders is particularly notable, given the army of small-dollar donors he amassed in 2016 and their similarly progressive stances. 
Biden has 15% lead in Emerson Poll

The first Democratic debate has shaken up the race for the Democratic nomination. Compared to June’s national poll, former Vice President Joe Biden extended his lead, Sen. Bernie Sanders lost ground, Sen. Kamala Harris doubled her support, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren held steady. Despite Biden losing foru points of his support from 34% to 30%, he extended his lead in the Democratic primary from seven points in June to 15 points, as his main rival, Sanders dropped 12 points to 15% from his June number of 27%. Harris saw her numbers improve eight points to 15%, and Warren ticked up one point from June to 15% of the vote, creating a three-way tie for second. 

Biden earned $15 million

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earned $15.6 million in the two years after he left the Obama administration, according to newly released financial documents (Wall Street Journal). The former vice president, who has built his nearly five-decade political career as an advocate for middle-class families, made millions of dollars through paid speaking engagements, sales of his 2017 book and his role as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Biden to lay out foreign policy plan

Biden will lay out his foreign-policy vision in a Thursday speech in which he will vow to hold a summit of the world’s leading democracies during his first year in office (Wall Street Journal). In his foreign-policy address at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the former vice president will assert that President Trump’s “America first” policies have isolated the U.S., and he will stress the need to restore U.S. leadership around the globe, a senior Biden campaign official said. Mr. Biden plans to say that, if elected, he would convene a summit of world leaders to “refocus on our common purpose, to strengthen our common resilience and to work more effectively together.”