Slayer Pete: Buttigieg is the Biden campaign’s secret weapon

Mayor Pete has found his format: the five-minute remote gutting.

He always looks so sweet, Pete Buttigieg—handsome in that white, Midwestern, college yearbook way, with a smile that looks arched but isn’t and those perfectly, seemingly naturally arched eyebrows.

For memory :

12:13 p.m. October 13, 2020An earlier version of this story listed Pete Buttigieg as the first openly gay candidate for president.

Last year, when we got to know him during the Democratic presidential nomination race, he easily carried the brunt of being his party’s first openly gay nominee, like it was no big deal. Sure, it takes a certain level of, say, personal confidence to imagine that going from mayor of South Bend, Ind., to White House is a possible career trajectory, but it was a quiet, respectful confidence worthy of a Rhodes scholar and naval intelligence officer.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising to find that when Buttigieg vowed to do everything he could to secure the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, that ‘whatever’ turned out to include” speak softly and carry a slingshot”.

Last week, after serving as a back-up for Vice President Mike Pence in the build-up to the Harris debate, Buttigieg must have seemed like a natural fit for a pre-debate interview. Fox News’ Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier certainly thought so, asking Harris’ former rival a preloaded question about his public policy differences with Biden. Standing outside Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, Buttigieg gave his now famous response:

“Well, there’s a classic board game of trying to find some daylight between running mates,” Buttigieg said. “And if people want to play that game, we could look at why an evangelical Christian like Mike Pence wants to be on a ticket with the president caught with a porn star, or what he thinks of the immigration policy that he called it “unconstitutional” before deciding to team up with Donald Trump.

Cue stunned silence in the studio and the sound of a kajillion social media posts.

Steve Doocy must have missed the segment and the tweets because he had Buttigieg on “Fox and Friends” the next morning. When asked about President Trump’s refusal to participate in a virtual debate, Mayor Pete replied, “I don’t know why you would want to be in a room with other people if you were contagious with a deadly disease, if you care about other people. But maybe the President of the United States doesn’t care about other people. »

Later in the interview, when Buttigieg brought up the president’s denigration of fallen American soldiers, Doocy, having learned nothing even from his own interview, cut him off to insist that the president had denied it. these informations. Buttigieg let him down easily with a classic “If you really believe the president now on this stuff,” he said. “I have a bridge to sell you.”

Then, during an interview with MSNBC on Sunday, Buttigieg followed up a touching response to National Coming Out Day with a calm, cool, and collected shredding of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement just before his confirmation hearings. “That’s what candidates do. They write the most seemingly flawless dry stuff,” Buttigieg said. “But really what I see in this is a pathway to judicial activism masked by judicial humility.”

Then he launched into a soliloquy that evoked the award-winning play “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

“Ultimately, rights in this country have been expanded because the courts have understood what the true meaning of the letter of the law and the spirit of the Constitution is,” he said. “It’s not about traveling back in time to the 18th century and subjecting yourself to the same prejudices and limitations as the people who write these words. The Constitution is a living document because the English language is a living language. And you must be prepared to understand this in order to serve in the field in a way that will truly improve lives.

He went on to add that even the founding fathers – the guys to whom these “dead hand originalists claim loyalty” – understood the importance of changing with the times.

It’s hard to get a term like “dead hand originalist” to go viral, but Buttigieg pulled it off — and from the comfort of his irritatingly immaculate kitchen, no less.

Granted, he’s come a long way since April, when Room Rater gave him a 4/10 for a “Morning Joe” interview done in front of a bookshelf with a very regrettable haircut. “Pete on the dangers of cutting your hair,” tweeted the work-from-home referee.

Now, with his quarantine buzz cut and his beard grown back and gone, respectively, Mayor Pete is scoring nothing but a perfect 10, at least on liberal social media, which last night aired his 2019 answer to questions about late-term abortions, often with grateful crying emojis.

The Biden/Harris campaign naturally expressed gratitude for Buttigieg’s high-profile support (in addition to everything else, he impersonates Mike Pence), and they’d be wise if they continued to do so. It’s easier for candidates’ supporters to offer heartbreaking comments than for the candidates themselves – which is why every candidate has a coterie of surrogates. But it’s hard to think of anyone who’s been so effective, especially during a news cycle that threatens to be overwhelmed by the president’s reaction — physical, political and psychological — to his COVID-19 diagnosis. 19.

No matter the Room Rater score; during the Democratic primary race, Buttigieg was often criticized for sounding boring, intellectual and, frankly, a little corny. Even then, it was pretty hilarious, considering he was not only the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, but also the first openly gay Democratic candidate to actively serve in the military.

Now it’s even more hilarious and, frankly, a little surprising because now we know better. We now know that what’s behind that white shirt, that black tie, and “Mr. The face of Smith Goes to Washington is not that of a political buff, but that of a rhetorical assassin. With a loving husband, a very nice kitchen and a deadly goal.

So, as Lin-Manuel Miranda (of whom Buttigieg and her husband, Chasten, are fans) asked in “Hamilton,” what do we think, “Treasury or State?”

Helen D. Jessen