“Despite lacking traditional qualifications for the presidency and declining, so far, to detail a distinctive policy agenda, Mr. Buttigieg has risen to the middle of the Democratic field in polling numbers and fund-raising.” – The New York Times

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Is it true that you speak Norwegian?
Ja, I am evasive in seven different languages.

How do you plan to tackle income inequality?
If I may, I’d like to speak to that very specific issue with a few glittering generalities.

Go on.
Freedom. Democracy. Bridges.

Care to elaborate?
Optimism. Honesty. A child’s lemonade stand.

You have my vote.
I know. If this piece were any fluffier, it’d have a thread count.

Here’s a question I would totally ask Elizabeth Warren: Phish or Radiohead?
Phish covering Radiohead’s “Go to Sleep,” with a surprise cameo by Dave Matthews.

All right, no more softballs…
Uh-oh, my seat’s heating up! Reminds me of Afghanistan. Did I mention I served in Afghanistan?

Several times, hero. What did you learn from your time in the Navy Reserve?
The Middle East… (steeples hands) is complicated.

Wow. That’s the kind of profound insight you only get from fighting on the frontlines.
Here’s a Polaroid of me in the desert, holding a gun.

You just… carry these around?
You can keep that. I’ve got tons more because I served my country for so long.

How do you feel about the use of American force abroad?
It’s like Graham Greene said: “Innocence is like a dumb leper that has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.”

(Nods slowly)
I wrote my thesis on Greene at Oxford, where I was a Rhodes scholar — but oh, I don’t like to talk about that. Here’s a hard copy of my thesis. You can keep that; I’ve got tons more.

Is it possible that you’re too smart to be President?
At my core, I’m still just a simple corn-fed farm-boy who went to prep school and Harvard and used to dress up as a politician for Halloween.

That’s not a red flag at all! May I introduce you to my mother?
Sure, I’ll bring over some cornbread that spells out TEAM PETE.

Speaking of teams, with which wing of the Democratic party do you identify?
I am as progressive or moderate or mischievous as you want me to be. Every voter can literally redesign Pete Buttigieg.

Are you a socialist or a capitalist?
I’m a renaissance man.

Is the mayor of a town of 100,000 people qualified to run a country of 327 million?
I guess you haven’t seen this sweet pic of me rolling up my sleeves.

Why you? Why now?
Both of my dogs are rescues.

How do you respond to people who say that you’re just another empty suit, or an Ivy League business guy’s CV that was brought to life when it was struck by lightning?
The American people are sick and tired of politicians answering questions with answers. That’s why I always respond with a hobby, a quirk, or a song.

A song?
(Suddenly seated at piano) Don’t mind if I do. (plays Spoon’s “The Way We Get By) That’s my stance on immigration.

You, sir, are a delight.
That’s the narrative!