Pete Buttigieg, the 39-year-old former mayor who failed upward to become secretary of transportation, wore a helmet while riding a communal bicycle home from the office on Thursday. The humiliating episode was captured on video and shared on social media by a reporter for THE POLITICO.
— Michael Stratford (@mstratford) February 25, 2021
Buttigieg's most notable accomplishment as mayor of South Bend, the fourth-largest city in Indiana, was bulldozing working-class and minority neighborhoods to make way for upscale condos and retail development. His second most notable accomplishment was establishing a bike share program.
The former mayor's fondness for bicycles—by far the most annoying form of transportation—along with his aggressive "White Obama" vibe, has endeared him to a certain segment of the population: rich, white liberals with graduate degrees who reside in "boat shoe" strongholds such as Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod.
After a failed campaign for state treasurer in 2010, Buttigieg used his platform as South Bend mayor to launch a failed campaign for chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2017. Two years later, he announced a campaign for president that also failed. Early this year, Buttigieg became the second openly gay individual to serve in a cabinet-level position.
Users of the popular social networking website Twitter reacted to the video of Buttigieg's bike ride in a variety of ways. ThisIsAMajorAndChampBidenStanAccount wrote: "He’s so darn wholesome! I’m grateful he has a security detail because I want to protect him at all costs!"
User @homebedcats remarked that Buttigieg and his security detail looked like "a bunch of Oxford students on their way to lecture." Others constructively criticized the secretary's riding form. "Raise your seat a couple inches and you will get way better efficiency out of your legs," wrote @PeculiarYetReal.
Since President Joe Biden announced Buttigieg's nomination in December, the failed candidate has enjoyed an excessive amount of fawning media coverage. Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe suggested Buttigieg was ideally suited to "make the post of transportation secretary sexy."
Unfortunately, there is nothing sexy about riding a bicycle.