Yesterday, Pete Buttigieg– the openly gay, 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana– announced that he would be running for president in 2020.
Much attention has been given to the fact that if Buttigieg wins the election, he would become not only the first ever openly gay US president, but also the youngest person ever to serve as commander-in-chief. But what else do we know about him besides his age and sexual orientation? Keep reading to find out.
1. He’s not afraid of the “S” word
In a recent interview with Joe Scarborough, Buttigieg described himself as a progressive and didn’t back off when the topic of socialism came up.
“Look, I know that for years socialism has been used as a kill-switch to just stop an idea from being talked about. But I think if you’re from my generation, the real interest is: is an idea good or not?”
2. He speaks Norwegian (and six other languages)
One of the first things that Bill Maher brought up when he interviewed Buttigieg a few weeks ago was the fact that he’s fluent in Norwegian.
His reason for learning the language: he wanted to translate one of Norwegian novelist Erlend Loe’s books. (According to his close friend and political analyst Nathaniel Myers, the novel Naïve. Super– a story about a 25-year-old that drops out of college to write lists and ponder philosophical questions– caused Buttigieg to “become entranced” with the author.)
Other languages that Buttigieg is proficient in include French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic and Dari– the form of Persian that’s spoken in Afghanistan.
Apparently, talent for learning foreign languages runs in the family. Buttigieg’s mother is a linguist.
3. He’s hardcore when it comes taking action against climate change
In an interview with Chris Wallace, Buttigieg said that the time to make the country carbon free or carbon neutral was yesterday.
“This timetable isn’t being set in congress. It’s being set by reality. It’s being set by science and those deadlines are going to hit with our without us and so we have to act.”
4. He’s deeply religious
When Buttigieg appeared on The View, he connected his religious feelings to his progressive political orientation.
“I do think there are the stirrings out there in our country right now of a religious left that understands that living your faith might also have something to do with paying more attention to those most in need and not celebrating those who already have the most wealth and the most power.”
Buttigieg was raised as a Roman Catholic, but later became an Episcopalian.
5. His last name is pronounced “Bood edge edge” (or if you say “Booda judge”, that’ll get you there)
Buttigieg explained how to say his name when he appeared on MSNBC. He also revealed that his father immigrated to the US from Malta.
6. He did a tour in Afghanistan as a US Navy reservist
In an interview with Buttigieg talked about how identity politics didn’t matter during his tour of Afghanistan.
“When I was getting into a vehicle that I was driving or guarding, nobody cared whether I was going home to a girlfriend or a boyfriend or where my father had immigrated from. They wanted to know if I knew how to use my rifle and if I had studied that route intelligence right.”
Will Buttigieg represent the Democrats in 2020?
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