Tag: Pete

Coming soon to a home theater near you: “Mayor Pete”

Coming soon to a home theater near you: “Mayor Pete”

via Shutterstock

Just weeks after making history as the first openly gay Transportation Secretary in United States history, Pete Buttigieg has hit another milestone: he will be the subject of a documentary film produced by Amazon Studios.

Variety reports that Mayor Pete will chronicle Buttigieg’s landmark run for the White House, as well as offer a glimpse into his home life in Indiana with his husband Chasten, and their two dogs. Cameras followed the Buttigieg couple beginning in Summer 2019 all the way through March 2020, when the former South Bend, Indiana mayor withdrew from the Democratic contest. Buttigieg then became one of future President Joe Biden‘s most high-profile and trusted surrogates.

Related: Mayor Pete epically owns Trump’s “crazy uncle” debate performance

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Director Jesse Moss will helm the film, which is also significant: Moss’ film Boys State is already snagging considerable Oscar buzz this year and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Mayor Pete will mark his immediate follow-up.

Amazon will release Mayor Pete later in 2021; a final date has not yet been announced.

Pete Buttigieg will join Biden’s Cabinet as transportation secretary / LGBTQ Nation

Pete Buttigieg

Pete ButtigiegPhoto: Shutterstock

Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will be the first out gay person to be a member of the presidential Cabinet. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana will reportedly be nominated to be transportation secretary by President-elect Joe Biden.

While President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence, a Cabinet-level position, Grenell wasn’t confirmed by the Senate and only served as a seat warmer for the incoming DNI.

Related: Pete Buttigieg & Liz Warren do the Time Warp with Tenacious D & Susan Sarandon

The president’s Cabinet is made up of the heads of all the executive branch departments plus the Vice President. Other high-level government officials like CIA director, White House Chief of Staff, and the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, are considered Cabinet-level.

According to D.C. gossip, Buttigieg has also been under consideration for Secretary of Commerce or Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Ambassador to China, and Veterans Affairs. He reportedly wanted to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., but veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield has already been named to that position.

Biden is famously fond of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, saying this past March: “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau…. It’s the highest compliment I could give any man or woman.” He was referring to Beau Biden, his son who passed away due to brain cancer in 2015.

And in the month leading up to the election, Buttigieg proved to be one of the Biden/Harris campaign’s best surrogates, going viral repeatedly with his no-nonsense responses to Republican talking points in appearances on Fox News.

Still, his job as transportation secretary won’t be an easy one. As the nation has limped through the coronavirus pandemic under President Trump, Buttigieg will be responsible for planning a way to rebuild America’s infrastructure – from rebuilding deteriorating highway, rail, and air systems to salvaging urban transit agencies like New York City and Washington DC’s subway systems.

He would oversee more than 55,000 employees – roughly half the number of people who live in South Bend – if confirmed to the position by the Senate.

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren do the ‘Time Warp’ with Tenacious D

Time Warp Buttigieg Warren

Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg joined Tenacious D to get young voters to “jump to the left”. (Tenacious D/ YouTube)

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren did the “Time Warp” with Tenacious D in a truly iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute to encourage voters to “jump to the left”.

The video is part of the Rock the Vote campaign, which urges “young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests” by voting.

With just one week to go until the US presidential election, Jack Black and the rest of Tenacious D put on wigs, makeup and sequins to encourage young Americans to “Rock-y the vote”.

Sharing the video which “just saved 2020” on YouTube, Tenacious D wrote: “It’s astounding… time is fleeting… and the 2020 election is here.

“Time to ROCK-Y THE VOTE! And remember: it’s just a jump to the LEFT, and not a step to the right!”

As well as former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, the “Time Warp” cover featured footage of the Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, interspersed with a multitude of queer icons including George Takei, Ilana Glazer, John Waters, King Princess, Phoebe Bridgers and Peaches.

Posting the video on Twitter, Warren wrote: “Thanks for letting me get in on this Rocky Horror remix, Jack Black and Tenacious D!

“Remember when you’re casting your ballot: ‘It’s just a jump to the left!’” 

One commenter wrote: “This is the BEST! Since the theatres are closed this year but the polls are open, this is the next best thing!”

One Twitter user responded: “In these uncertain times seeing Elizabeth Warren in a cover of the ‘Time Warp’ does give a glimmer of hope as the gathering storm approaches on Nov 3. #AndNotAStepToTheRight.”

“Man, the starpower in this vid,” wrote another. “A worthy cover for a worthy cause. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!”

Pete Buttigieg reveals how he role-played Mike Pence with Kamala Harris

Pete Buttigieg reveals how he role-played Mike Pence with Kamala

Pete Buttigieg has revealed how he channeled his “inner Mike Pence” while helping Kamala Harris prepare for the vice-presidential debate.

In a strange twist of fate, the gay former presidential candidate has been role-playing as Pence in mock debates with Harris to help her practise.

Appearing in an MNBC segment ahead of the big showdown on Wednesday evening, Pete Buttigieg was asked by Rachel Maddow to describe his process for “channeling your inner Mike Pence” – and the gay former presidential candidate gave a tantalising glimpse.

“A lot of it’s been about anticipating things that might happen, and as we saw in 2016, Mike Pence is someone who is comfortable saying things that are utterly false with a completely straight face,” Buttigieg said.

“It’s one of the reasons that he’s actually a very effective debater. And we wanted to make sure that we’re prepared for that.”

He added that Pence delivers mistruths in a “more soothing much more calming way than Donald Trump but still putting out those same falsehoods.”

Though the idea of Buttigieg impersonating Pence may seem bizarre, in some ways it’s the perfect casting as the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana has a long history with Pence, who served as governor of Indiana before becoming vice president.

And he repeatedly crossed swords with Pence during his Democratic primary campaign – with the vice president posting a smiling selfie alongside a pastor who had called for Buttigieg to “repent” his sexuality.

Buttigieg suggested he’d grown closer to Harris over their mock debates together.

“My respect for Kamala Harris only grew during the time that we were competing and only more so now,” he said.

“She has such a command of the facts and the American people really are with us, but that doesn’t mean that tonight’s debate is going to be an easy task.”

Joe Biden hands Pete Buttigieg key role in making his presidency a reality

Joe Biden hands Pete Buttigieg key role in making his

Former Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg (David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pete Buttigieg has been tapped to serve in a key role on the presidential transition team of his former rival Joe Biden.

Biden is currently putting together a transition team, which will lay the groundwork for him to take office in January if he triumphs over Donald Trump in the 3 November election.

Buttigieg, who exploded onto the national scene before ending his pioneering bid for president back in March, has been appointed to a 15-person advisory board for Biden’s transition team.

Joe Biden hires Pete Buttigieg for transition team role.

According to CNN, other advisory board members include former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates.

Former Delaware senator Ted Kaufman, who will co-chair the transition team, said: “We are preparing for this transition amid the backdrop of a global health crisis and struggling economy. This is a transition like no other, and the team being assembled will help Joe Biden meet the urgent challenges facing our country on day one.

“The co-chairs, advisory board, and senior staff are a diverse group of experts who are committed to helping a possible Biden-Harris administration beat the public health crisis and put Americans back to work in good-paying jobs.”

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces he is ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president on March 1, 2020
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces he is ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president on March 1, 2020 (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Buttigieg tweeted: “The character of our country is on the ballot.”

The Indiana mayor was previously promised a key role by Biden when he dropped out in March.

Biden had said: “I did speak to Pete Buttigieg a couple of days ago to encourage him to stay engaged because he has enormous talent.

“I indicated to him that if I become the nominee, I’d come and ask him to be part of the administration, to be engaged in moving things forward.”

Former presidential candidate has been vocal in his support for Biden.

Since the election, Buttigieg has taken up an academic post at the University of Notre Dame, and has continued to stump for Biden.

Last month he gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention that touched on the presidential candidate’s history of supporting LGBT+ rights.

He explained: “Just over 10 years ago, I joined a military where firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible – it was policy. Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love.

“The very ring on my finger – a wedding we celebrated right where I’m standing – reflects how this country can change.

‘Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible – including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land.”

“Mayor Pete” Stars in New Picture Book

"Mayor Pete" Stars in New Picture Book

A new picture-book biography of Pete Buttigieg chronicles his life from his birth in Indiana to his groundbreaking run as a presidential candidate.

Mayor Pete - Rob Sanders

Mayor Pete: The Story of Pete Buttigieg, written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Levi Hastings (Henry Holt), begins during a “record-setting snowstorm” in South Bend, Indiana, as his parents welcome their new baby. “Only time would tell” who he would become, Sanders writes, a theme that recurs throughout the book as we follow the hard-working Buttigieg (referred to as “Pete” or “Mayor Pete”) through high school, college, world travels, learning about business, and being inspired to a life of service. We see him fail and then succeed both in a race for high school class president and later, in running for public office, where he lost a race for state treasurer before being elected mayor of South Bend.

We read of how the city gained a “new outlook,” during his first term as mayor, with “innovative industries” and “a community that welcomed all people—no matter their age, race, gender, religion, culture, or sexual orientation.” After serving in Afghanistan with the Navy Reserves and beginning a reelection campaign once he returned, Mayor Pete realized, however, “He had stood up for the rights of others but had never told the whole truth about himself.” He came out as gay in the local paper, writing, “It’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am.” This honesty “was a win for Pete,” Sanders assures us, although some thought it would mean a loss as mayor. “Only time would tell,” we read again—although as it turns out, he won.

He then met teacher Chasten Glezman. “A friendship sprouted” between them, and they eventually fell in love, started a home, adopted dogs, and married. Hastings gives us a joyous full-page image of the two men kissing at their wedding.

Mayor Pete’s desire to serve kept him moving forward, however, and he soon thought about running for president, driven by his idea of “what America could be.” The book ends with Mayor Pete announcing his candidacy, and the observation that “Only time will tell who Pete Buttigieg, presidential candidate, will become.” It’s a smart way to end a book that was finished in May 2019 and fast-tracked for publication, as Sanders confirmed with me—well before Mayor Pete won the Iowa Democratic Caucuses but shortly thereafter dropped out of the race—and it may serve to inspire young readers on their own journeys of self-discovery and service.

This is a picture-book biography that appropriately takes a broad-brush approach to Mayor Pete’s achievements, almost completely skipping his business career and offering examples of mayoral duties that children can understand, like helping the city face snowstorms and floods, showing up for festivals and ribbon cuttings, officiating weddings, and reading to students. Throughout the book, Sanders poetically weaves in images of Indiana’s weather, seasons, and harvest. When Pete and Chasten meet, for example, “like Indiana sweet corn, a relationship began to grow.” It’s a nice way to ground the book in Pete’s midwestern roots and helps elevate it above many drier biographies for children.

An afterward gives further details about Mayor Pete’s distinction as the first out gay Democratic presidential candidate, the first millennial candidate, and the first veteran of the war in Afghanistan to be a candidate. It also provides a helpful lesson on how to say his last name, information on the requirements to be president, and a timeline of his life through April 2019. Hastings’ illustrations are heavy on patriotic red, white, and blue, brightened by a warm yellow that evokes both Indiana corn and Mayor Pete’s presidential campaign colors. Mayor Pete and his family are White; the people he encounters are an assortment of races and skin tones.

Sanders is one of the most prominent authors of LGBTQ-inclusive nonfiction picture books, including The Fighting Infantryman: The Story of Albert D.J. Cashier, Transgender Civil War Soldier (my review here), Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution (my review here), Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag (my review here), and Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights (my review here). Mayor Pete is another skillful volume to add to the list and should particularly appeal to readers seeking a more contemporary look at LGBTQ people and history.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)