A new book reveals why former President Barack Obama says former South Bend mayor-turned Biden cabinet member, Pete Buttigieg will not make it to the White House. The former commander in chief who still holds a celebrity-like presence among Democrats says Buttigieg’s height is a big problem.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
“Obama had actually been impressed by the brains, charisma, and chutzpah of the thirty-something mayor of a small midwestern city,” writes New York magazine correspondent Gabriel Debenedetti in The Long Alliance. “Obama just doubted it would all add up to viability in a presidential campaign where image and fame mattered immensely—he thought Buttigieg was too short and, as a former volunteer for Obama in 2008, seemed too young—and where such a large field would make breaking through that much harder.”
Trump wasted no time calling attention to Mr. Buttigieg’s height during the 2020 election, spurring tons of memes and viral reactions on Twitter to the mayor’s short stature.
Every single commander in chief since William McKinley (1897-1901) has been at least 5 foot 9 inches tall. It’s never going to happen, but height isn’t the only reason. Debenedetti also notes that Obama was rightfully “turned off by Buttigieg’s apparent inability to win over nonwhite voters” in the Democratic primary.
Biden was similarly impressed by Buttigieg’s “gay Obama” schtick but “also thought everyone was kidding themselves” about his viability as a candidate. “The guy had gotten destroyed in the piddling race for DNC chair in 2017, so how was he going to be the party’s presidential nominee?” Debenedetti writes of Biden’s thinking at the time. The former VP was particularly annoyed when a bunch of former Obama staffers started lining up behind Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke, another candidate with no shot at winning. “You believe this shit?” Biden would often vent to aides and associates.
Of course, Obama didn’t even want Biden to run in 2020 (or 2016). “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” he reportedly told his former vice president before Biden declared his candidacy. As the Democratic primary wore on, Obama tried to warn his fellow Democrats not to “underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.”
There have already been some rumors Buttigieg may seriously be considering making another run for president in the near future, however without the support of past presidents like Obama it’s doubtful he would be successful enough to gain the party’s nomination.