Video of a young Pete Buttigieg being very Pete at a college forum is going viral

Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Secretary Pete Buttigieg Photo: Shutterstock

A video of a young Pete Buttigieg asking a question about the American presidency as a college freshman is going viral.

The clip, posted by Twitter user @chyeaok, is from a 2001 forum on George W. Bush’s first hundred days at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. The video shows the future Transportation Secretary questioning speakers like former White House Communications Director David Gergen, New York Times political correspondent Richard Berke, political scientist Elaine Kamarck, and others.

“It’s my understanding from generations older than mine that most of the people in them who went into public service did so out of inspiration for a grand figure who was usually the American president,” Buttigieg says. “It seems like the presidency has now evolved into what’s called the MBA White House, or the corporate model.”

“What’s happened to the image of the American presidency? And just because we know more about the men who were president, is that magic really gone forever?” he asks the panel.

“Don’t let anyone tell you he’s fake or doing an Obama impression or something,” @chyeaok tweeted along with the clip. “He’s literally always been this thoughtful and introspective.”

Twitter responded with an outpouring of appreciation for Buttigieg.

The clip comes from a longer compilation of the young Buttigieg asking thoughtful questions at various Harvard forums. It’s well worth watching.

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