Maybe that “youth” thing is overrated.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the wunderkind of the crowded Democratic primary field, the 37-year-old who’s out to wrest the nomination from a far older, more experienced group of candidates.
But a Buttigieg conversation with a voter Tuesday showed at least one glaring gap in his knowledge of American history that would be almost impossible for one of his more weathered competitors.
The conversation took place at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines and was recorded in a Twitter post by DJ Judd, a video producer for the Democrat-friendly, Trump-hating network CNN.
“I shook Robert Kennedy’s hand in 1968,” a woman tells Pete Buttigieg. “So you’re good luck?” he asks. “Not really— he was shot a month later,” she tells him. pic.twitter.com/RiW0fw1uwB
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) August 13, 2019
“I shook Robert Kennedy’s hand in 1968,” a woman told Buttigieg.
“So you’re good luck?” he asked.
“Not really. He was shot a month later,” the woman said.
There might be more awkward moments ahead for Buttigieg, but that one was tough to top.
It was a Biden-level gaffe, but it’s a good bet even Joe Biden would never have made it.
Now, to state the obvious, there’s nothing whatsoever funny about a political assassination, and the Robert Kennedy assassination of 1968 was one of the most tumultuous points of one of the most tumultuous years in American history.
But there is something grimly comical in the idea that a man running for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2019 could forget, even in the frenzied press of a campaign meeting, that a man named Kenedy had been murdered 51 years earlier running for that same nomination.
(It’s a good thing she didn’t tell him her great aunt sailed on the Lusitania.)
Granted, Kennedy’s death in Los Angeles took place 14 years before young Mayor Pete was even born, but a guy who claims to be able to speak seven languages should have at least some knowledge about how the world worked before it was graced with his presence.
Buttigieg’s Biden moment didn’t go unnoticed on social media.
Kinda walked into that one, Mr. Mayor.
— Jeffrey Bergman (@JeffRWLawyer) August 13, 2019
You’d think a Rhodes Scholar would know Bobby was shot in ’68. I bet Rhodes Scholar WITH HONORS and Yale Law Grad @CoryBooker knew…
— Patrick Ryan Blood, Esq. #KHive (@thepatrickryan_) August 13, 2019
But some users thought it might actually have been intentional.
Pete’s brand is “I’m a kid, phones used to have cords? Whaaa??” Therefore, not a gaffe!
— Chris Wynes (@cjwynes) August 13, 2019
Not likely, but if it was, it was even worse.
Man, that was bad
— Brandon Saario (@SaarioBrandon) August 13, 2019
Yes, it was bad. Biden-level bad.
But it was a reminder that running for the presidency isn’t a game for the callow. At 37, Buttigieg might satisfy the basic constitutional age requirement to be commander in chief, but he’s clearly missing some important knowledge about the country he wants to lead.
Septuagenarians Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have politics that would be disastrous to the country, but at least they know about Bobby Kennedy and his place in their party.
The Des Moines incident might have just proved how overrated youthful “Mayor Pete” really is.
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