10 Times Pete Buttigieg Was Too Good to Be Real
April 2, 2019 | His name first popped up in my feed a number of months ago, one face amongst many vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination. While I found it interesting that a gay war vet from Indiana had presidential ambitions, too many traditional A-list figures—Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden—were looking to 2020 for me to pay much attention to a then no-name mayor. Boy, was I hasty to make that judgment.
Pete Buttigieg, known affectionately as “Mayor Pete,” was certainly the show stopping candidate in March, even in the face of Beto O’Rourke’s record-breaking fundraising haul. As I began to pay more attention to his candidacy, I had a recurring thought that I could not ignore: Pete Buttigieg is too good to be real. He is a conspiracy, perhaps a cyborg, placed in the spotlight to make his competition—and the rest of us—look bad.
Allow me to elaborate:
1. Once Mayor Pete casually strolled into a hospital in South Bend because he heard over the police radio that they needed an Arabic interpreter.
In case you haven’t heard, Mayor Pete is a polyglot. He speaks seven languages, including Maltese, Dari, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, and French.
2. If I haven’t proven my point thoroughly enough, here he is answering questions asked by Norwegian reporters in Norwegian. Bless.
3. Just yesterday, Mayor Pete married a couple 45 minutes before their C-section appointment to give birth to their baby girl.
This is so ridiculous that Pete himself has commented on it. I am telling you, he is not real.
As my fellow Arbitror contributor Kenzy Seifert put it, this isn’t a politician; this is a Brooklyn 99 episode.
4. He raised $7 million in Q1 2019. To put this in perspective, his campaign is now faring better financially than Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. While this sum may pale in comparison to Kamala Harris’s $12 million for the same time period, Pete’s fundraising haul is certainly enough to keep him in the race for a good while and will likely serve to attract more funding later on.
5. To buttress that point, Pete recently polled third for the Democratic nomination in Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest. Most remarkable is that he polled at 11% in March and 0% in January.
While the poll’s margin of error was +/- 6.2% and his name did appear first on the survey (a known advantage), numbers like these should not be cast aside.
6. Pete had a widely-praised SXSW town hall broadcast by CNN that helped to propel him to the spotlight. There were many moments that stood out, but this clip in particular is a telling sample of the candidate’s political skills.
7. From a policy standpoint, he has solid ideas that can appeal to both progressives and centrists. In an interview with Vox, Mayor Pete gave detailed and well thought-out answers to issues ranging from economic paradigms to foreign policy.
Regarding the former issue, his youth is a great asset in understanding why fellow Millennials and other young Americans are frequently at odds with capitalism. This is a critical asset to his campaign, as young voters proved themselves powerful in the 2018 midterms, but are statistically hard to get out to vote. Also having a Millennial president? Too good to be real.
8. HAVE I MENTIONED HIS HUSBAND. In case you can’t already tell, a big part of why I think Pete Buttigieg isn’t real is because of his Twitter reputation. A major influence component Pete’s online following isn’t his following per se, but his husband’s. Here’s an example:
This new exposure can be very weird, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to teenagers taking pictures of me and then running away giggling when I look up and see them pointing their phones at me. This is why I can no longer smell deodorants at Target. They’re always watching.— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chas10Buttigieg) March 20, 2019
9. Pete isn’t without his own Twitter chops, though, and he and Chasten (and their dogs) make a formidable team. Maybe they are both not real humans.
10. He knows how to play his political cards. He recently told some supporters in San Francisco that “[w]hat you want to do, is you want to nominate a really, kind of forward-thinking, inclusive, new generation, young, good-looking mayor.” A chuckle-inducing statement to be sure, but upon closer inspection, it illustrates a lot of what his candidacy has to offer.
Not only does he have both the resume (did I mention he’s a Rhodes Scholar?) and charisma to qualify him for the presidency, but his holistic image is a feel good one with potential for broad support from many demographics.
Real or not, he also invites critiques with certain policy stances and aspects of his background that he and U.S. voters alike should take a deeper look at. After all, no candidate is perfect. Even so, Pete Buttigieg’s cyborg-like goodness is hard to overlook.
Sophia Freuden is a paralegal in criminal defense with a background in international affairs and Russian studies.
The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of other Arbitror contributors or of Arbitror itself. This piece has been neither endorsed nor commissioned by any public or political figure.
Photo by marcn with a CC BY 2.0 license.