Column: Make way for Slayer Pete. Buttigieg is the Biden campaign's ruthless secret weapon
(Charlie Neibergall / AP)
Mayor Pete has found his format: the five-minute remote feed evisceration.
He always looks so good, Pete Buttigieg - handsome in that white, midwestern college yearbook fashion, with a smile that looks like a hump but isn't, and those perfectly and apparently naturally raised eyebrows.
Last year, when we met him in the running for the Democratic President nomination, he carried the weight of being the first openly gay presidential candidate like it wasn't a big deal. Sure, it takes a level of personal confidence to imagine transitioning from Mayor of South Bend, Indiana to the White House to be a possible career, but it was a calm, respectful confidence that was befitting a Rhodes scholar and a naval intelligence officer.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise to discover that when Buttigieg vowed to do everything possible to secure the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, "whatever" was "speak softly and carry a noose blade."
Last week, after Buttigieg acted as deputy to Vice President Mike Pence in preparation for the debate, he seemed like a natural choice for a pre-scheduled interview. Convinced, Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier of Fox News asked Harris' former rival a pre-installed question about their political differences with Biden. Buttigieg stood in front of Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City and gave his now virally famous answer:
"Well, there is a classic parlor game that tries to find some daylight between running mates," said Buttigieg. "And if people want to play this game, we could investigate why an evangelical Christian like Mike Pence would want to be on a map with the president who was caught with a porn star, or how he feels about the immigration policy he calls' unconstitutional '. before he decided to team up with Donald Trump. "
Cue numbed the silence in the studio and the sound of 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 if President Trump refused 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 when you are contagious with a deadly disease if you take care of it." 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 disparagement of fallen American soldiers, Doocy, having learned nothing from his own interview, interrupted and insisted that the president rejected those reports. Buttigieg let him down with a classic. "If you really believe the president now about that sort of thing," he said. "I have a bridge to sell you."
During an MSNBC interview on Sunday, Buttigieg followed a touching response to National Coming Out Day with a calm, cool, and collected annihilation of Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett's just-made opening statement ahead of her confirmation hearings. "This is what nominees do. They write the apparently safest, driest stuff," said Buttigieg. "But really, what I see there is a path to legal activism wrapped in judicial humility."
Then he began a monologue reminiscent of the award-winning play “What the Constitution Means to Me”.
"Ultimately, the rights in this country were expanded because the courts understood what the real meaning of the law letter and the spirit of the constitution is," he said. "It's not about traveling back yourself." up to the 18th century and submit to the same prejudices and restrictions 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 willing to understand this in order to serve in the field in ways that actually make life better. "
He added that even the Founding Fathers - the people to whom these "dead originalists claim allegiance" - understood the importance of changing over time.
It's hard to get a phrase like "dead hand originalist" going viral, but Buttigieg got it - and no less conveniently from his irritatingly immaculate kitchen.
Certainly he has come a long way since April when Room Rater gave him a 4/10 for a "Morning Joe" interview that was done in front of a bookshelf with a very unfortunate haircut. "Pete on the dangers of cutting your own hair," the referee tweeted about working from home.
Now that his quarantine buzz cut 'n' beard has grown back, Mayor Pete is only getting perfect tens, at least on liberal social media, which only shared his 2019 answer to late abortion questions last night. often with grateful crying emojis.
The Biden / Harris campaign thanked Buttigieg for his highly visible support (on top of everything else, he's doing a mean Mike Pence imitation), and it would be wise if they keep doing so. It is easier for candidate supporters to make hurtful comments than it is for the candidates themselves - therefore each candidate has a number of substitutes. However, it's hard to imagine someone who has been just as effective, especially during a news cycle threatened by the president's reaction - physical, political, and psychological - to his COVID-19 diagnosis.
No matter how high the Room Rater score is. During the Democratic primary race, Buttigieg was often classified as boring, intellectual, and frankly a bit nerdy. Even then, this was pretty funny as not only was he the first openly gay presidential candidate, but he was also the first openly gay presidential candidate to see active military service.
Now it's even funnier and frankly a little bit amazing because we know better now. Now we know what's behind that white shirt, dark tie and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington “is not a political wonk, but a rhetorical assassin. With a loving husband, a really nice kitchen, and a deadly goal.
When Lin-Manuel asked Miranda (of whom Buttigieg and his husband Chasten are fans) in "Hamilton", what do we think, "Treasury or State"?
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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