Pete Buttigieg Confronted on Camera as People of East Palestine Suffer, Then Things Took a Weird Turn
He’s gone from Mayor Pete to Creepy Pete.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, possibly the second least qualified man for his job in the Biden administration besides President Joe Biden himself, has finally gotten around to visiting the scene of an environmental crisis caused by a train derailment in northeast Ohio, but the more than two weeks that it took revealed a good deal about his approach to his duties.
And one encounter with a reporter on Tuesday revealed even more about his view of the American public.
Approached on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk by Daily Caller reporter Jennie Taer, as he walked with the man he calls his husband, Buttigieg was by turns dismissive, arrogant and evasive, before finally turning downright creepy when he halted the interview by asking to take the young woman’s picture.
Check it out here:
I asked Secretary Buttigieg about the crisis in East Palestine and I guess he didn’t like that so he took a pic of me. Im just doing my job, sir. @DailyCaller pic.twitter.com/HjKNgF25FJ
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) February 22, 2023
Asked at first if he had a message for the suffering souls of East Palestine, Ohio, who are dealing with the fallout of the Feb. 3 train derailment that led to a toxic cloud of smoke being released over their homes, Buttigieg airily referred Taer to the “dozen” interviews he’d done that day.
He also flatly refused to expand on the topic, noting that he was taking “some personal time,” with the clear implication that a nobody like a reporter from a conservative website had any business bothering a man of his importance.
When Taer asked if he intended to visit the stricken area himself, Buttigieg said he would, but declined to give a date.
“I’ll share that when I’m ready,” he said.
(Given that Buttigieg’s visit Thursday morning was announced on Wednesday, it’s a good chance the trip was already planned and he could have just said that. Alternatively, he was actually shamed into an Ohio stop by former President Donald Trump’s visit on Wednesday, which just means he was being shifty.)
But that’s when things took a really weird turn, as Buttigieg took his phone from his pocket and asked Taers, “Can I get a photo of this?”
It’s hard to think exactly what was going through Buttigieg’s mind at the time, but none of the possibilities are appealing. Was he trying to intimidate a reporter for doing her job? Are he and his staff compiling pictures of journalists they don’t like? Was it simply sending a message that he and his “personal time” are off limits to the American public that pays him $221,000 a year for doing little more than trying to lay the groundwork for a new presidential campaign in the future?
Regardless, the clearly creepy move appalled social media users:
This was creepy… the intention was to threaten and intimidate
— Cheryl MEGA Ultra MAGA (@cheryleliz) February 23, 2023
Do any legacy media have a sliver of honor left that’ll inspire them to stick up for a @DailyCaller journalist being intimidated by a powerful cabinet member like @PeteButtigieg? @CNNPR @nytimes @MSNBCPR @washingtonpost @pressfreedom @AP @MeetThePress @NBCNews @abcnews @ICIJorg
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 22, 2023
I guess aaw shucks Mayor Pete has a creepy side.
— 🇺🇸 MSQUARED🇺🇸 🗽 (@melissamiller33) February 22, 2023
And there was plenty of praise for Taer’s shoe-leather approach to reporting.
— Rich Zeoli (@Richzeoli) February 22, 2023
You’re a total pro. If he wants to be a private citizen and take personal time, he should resign from his cabinet position. Great work!
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) February 22, 2023
Naturally, there were a few blinkered libs who defended Buttigieg, claiming he had a right to “personal time” or even likening Taer’s polite professional questions to the leftist mob that appeared at a D.C. restaurant where Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining in July after the court overturned Roe v. Wade.
That’s nonsense on stilts, and any honest person knows it.
But the real issue here isn’t so much Buttigieg’s abhorrent treatment of a reporter on a sidewalk as it is what it shows about how he views the American public he’s supposed to serve.
This is a guy who took months of paternity leave after he and his partner adopted twins — while the country was in the midst of a historic supply chain crisis. (Maybe someone should have alerted him that “supply chain crisis” means “transportation” crisis.)
He clearly had no problem then elevating his personal desires above the actual needs of the nation he’s supposed to be helping lead. Just as he claimed his “personal time” when he was trying to give Taer the brush-off.
And he might not like it, but dealing with the public very much includes dealing with journalists, even if they’re not from Democratic-propaganda outlets like The New York Times.
But most of all, when it came right down to it, he resorted to the implied intimidation of taking Taer’s photo — for no imaginably good reason.
With that in mind, Taer’s Twitter caption makes a factual statement ring with defiance: “I’m just doing my job, sir.”
One Twitter post put it perfectly:
Great job Jennie! Your persistence brought out his true nature. Keep up the good work!
— Michael Goolsby (@MichaelGoolsbyV) February 22, 2023
Buttigieg and his fans like to promote his aw-shucks persona, like he’s just ol’ “Mayor Pete” of South Bend, Indiana, and a Navy reserve veteran who made it to the big time with nothing in his heart but a willingness to serve.
But the moment here showed something different: A man who’s evasive, arrogant and essentially a creep.
In the circles he runs in, though, that’s a plus. Considering the party’s nominees going back to former President Bill Clinton’s “boxers or briefs” heyday, Buttigieg could make a great Democratic candidate for president someday.
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