Pete Buttigieg Says He’s More Than a Résumé

Mr. Buttigieg interviews for The New York Times’s endorsement.

Comments: 246

  1. The questioners' focus on McKinsey is excessive, overwrought and misses the point. He was a junior analyst at the firm for a couple of years. Everybody knows that a big part of McKinsey's practice is to analyze a business and advise them on ways to cut costs. Labor is a large part of many companies's cost structure, so it is an obvious target. Buttigieg was one of thousands of analysts working for the firm out of school--he was not making policy decisions at McKinsey or any of the clients the firm worked for. A better line of questioning would have been to acknowledge what we all know--that the world of work has been changing for 20 years or more--and to ask him what a President Buttigieg would do about the people who are being displaced by these changes. What policies would he implement? What law changes would he champion?

  2. @Jack Sonville Agreed, but would have liked to hear the answer to this question: "You must have gotten a fair bit of experience at McKinsey about how big, powerful business operates. What tax, regulation, and other laws would you change to make our system more fair and more protective of individuals, labor, small businesses?"

  3. Yes, the board's initial focus on Pete's McKinsey employment seemed very much like nitpicking. However, because millennials and supporters of the more extreme (and unelectable) candidates are so fascinated by it, the NYT's decision to tackle it was a reasonable one. And after reading through the laborious McKinsey give and take -- one that did nothing to discredit this candidate, it seems to me that the interrogation thankfully lifted the purported scandal out of the mire, producing nothing more than a big "Yawn." Pete handled the firing squad exceptionally well, using logic and common sense to dispense of it entirely -- and the juvenile-inspired "Mayo" moniker, too. The remainder of the interview reveals a young man who is remarkably centered, entirely well-thought out on myriad, substantive issues, incredibly articulate, and possessing the highest personal integrity one seldom sees in a political life. His integrity shines through in so many ways, not the least of which was to come out as gay -- a decision that served only to complicate his political aspirations. However, just as outside the acceptable mainstream of his peer group is his decision to pursue the vocation of politician. The country could not have been more fortunate. Mayor Pete is both a rare talent and well-adjusted ... genius ... if that's not too off putting a term. He is philosophically committed to governing -- not evangelizing. God, do we need him ... in the White House or Blair House.

  4. @Jack Sonville How many of those "thousands of analysts" were Rhodes Scholar Harvard grads like Buttigieg? I'd bet not very many.

  5. I don't think the interviewers were being fair to Buttigieg here. For example, after hashing through the whole McKinsey thing and then proceeding on to other topics, one questioner came back with "you’ve been on the front lines of corporate downsizing. You’ve been on the front lines of corporate price fixing." He was a junior analyst in his first job -- he wasn't on "the front lines" of anything! Very unfair, in my view.

  6. @Expat Annie I agree with you and Buttigieg says that over and over again to the interviewers. My take away from that exchange is that the young post-college Buttigieg was Ambitious and Driven and Ivy League and was perfectly happy to do his defacto McKinsley stint. Butigieg basically says that in the interview too.

  7. @Expat Annie But you have to admit, Buttigieg refused to take the bait and remained calm through this interview, which did at times veer into rudeness (the insinuations regarding mayonnaise seemed particularly juvenile). Other candidates interviewed so far have not possessed the same calm command of reason and facts that Buttigieg has. This inverview showed me exactly how well-suited he is for the Presidency. I am very impressed!

  8. Wealth is a nation unto itself, it goes where it wants, and it is a citizen of wherever it wants. It doesn't serve the people in any way, in fact, the people are its servants, and when they forget that fact, the factories move to countries that outlaw unions, like China and India. America's Republican Party is owned by big money and foreign interests, but it is still fun to see earnest people pretend that they can control the wealthy. I really, really would love to see an extended conversation between Mayor Pete and Andrew Yang, to see them pose questions to each other and see how they react in the moment. But even more, I wish George Carlin were alive and willing to interview political candidates, as in, "now, we all know the game is rigged and whatever happens, the rich will get richer and the poor will die on foreign battlefields, so how will change things?" Hugh

  9. Wow that was comprehensive. Thank you to the Editorial Board. I do think some of the preoccupations of the board were evident in their questions but in general very enlightening about Buttigieg. The McKinsey questions are indeed relevant but the board went on and on about it and Buttigieg had already said what he wanted to say and yet the board kept going. Otherwise great work and very helpful.

  10. I was excited about these interviews as an alternative to the chaos of the Democratic debates, but after reading this one I'm very disappointed by the editorial board. In this 80 minute interview only one weak question is asked about the climate -- whether nuclear is in the mix -- while the McKinsey stuff goes on and on. Which of these issues is a higher priority in the opinion of the board? The changing climate is an existential crisis that is quickly becoming more and more difficult to address, and the next few years are critical for the Earth and the health of everyone one on it. It would be nice if interviewers and moderators would give the issue the attention it deserves.

  11. @Dan Schwartz I agree that the Editorial Board goes on and on about McKinsey trying to create a story where there isn't one. It reminds me of all of the attention given to Hillary Clinton's email server issue, but giving Trump a huge pass on everything until it was too late.

  12. @Dan Schwartz , I agree with you. Climate change, the urgent issue of our lives now, should have been the first issue raised in the interview.

  13. @Dan Schwartz Yes, the Board would seem to think that working for McKinsey is a greater existential threat to human existence than climate change. A very weak, and prosecutorial interview on their part, revealing both immaturity as well as a focus bias, or myopia. Most unimpressive and a great cause for concern not only for candidate interviews but seasoned, well rounded editorials going forward.

  14. He is clearly bright and articulate, and has a good idea of what needs to change. I'd vote for him if he were the Democratic candidate for sure. The problem I see is that he believes incremental change is the answer. He doesn't see the whack-a-mole problem with that. Those who are wealthy and those who have power (a lot of overlap here) are not going to just let things slip away from themselves. We have seen how they defuse any change and how they infiltrate and undermine any meaningful change, or at least limit it. He needs to see how at certain times big changes are needed. They are difficult. But if incremental attempts at change don't work you either go big or wait until everything collapses -- a worse alternative.

  15. @Just Thinkin’ His plans are progressive but pragmatic. Often they are simply necessary first leaps in the right direction. His campaign is built on what he thinks we can get done, its not to mean that he doesn't think we should strive to do more. Sometimes we need to take a big leap, pause, and bring people along for the journey rather than yelling at them that they are behind.

  16. @Just Thinkin’ He may be incremental in some areas. However, his plans for improving our democracy are very momentous, if enacted. It shows that he clearly spent time on the topic of what real improvement actually is. He concluded that the lack of democracy is at the root of most problems in this country.

  17. @Just Thinkin’ There is a difference between incremental changes and a revamping. In health care the difference is between reducing the rise in prices and getting more people insured vs. revising the system(where private insurance companies only provide supplemental insurance, everyone is covered from birth to death, and costs are radically reduced.The latter requires changes in the cost of getting a medical degree, ending of advertising for medical care, reducing administrative costs, more public health and prevention services -- some required, healthy food served in schools and hospitals, and on and on -- only able to be accomplished with a major overhaul. Buttigieg somehow thinks that even though all of us would be able to opt in to some public option (including employers), nevertheless the private insurance market wouldn't collapse in a chaotic way. No matter what,you cannot "keep your insurance if you want it." Change one part of our healthcare system and it affects all the others. A public option would only be viable if it reduced the payments to providers and required all providers to accept all patients -- like Medicare For All. In other words, I'm saying that halfway is not workable. You either have Medicare For All or you have our failing system. Either Buttigieg is uninformed of how his plan could be implemented and what its consequences would undoubtedly be, or he his dealing in wishful thinking that could really cause damage when his wishes don't get granted.

  18. Pete Buttigieg is clearly bright, articulate, capable of strategic thinking, and ambitious -- like millions of Americans. Even just the first three of these qualities clearly escape our current President, so that's to the good. However, I feel like in our recent history, our country has been driven into the ground, and those of middle or lower income have been sold up the river by leaders of exactly this demographic. Ultimately, Pete Buttigieg -- current net worth notwithstanding -- is of the elite class in connections, educational history and prospects. And that is who he will serve, for he is a person who, clearly, is extremely ambitious for himself as well as for his country. I would prefer one of the other bright, articulate, strategic thinking candidates that have a longer record of working for the public good, not checking off boxes on a resume. I'm not saying that this makes Pete a "bad" person, just that there are many thousands, if not millions of other Americans who are bright, thoughtful and public service minded that perhaps are not so focused on these narrow measures and metrics of "success" as codified by the very elite that I think have and continue to push the country in the wrong direction whether for short-sighted personal gain, personal ambition or through misguided thinking.

  19. @Parapraxis For a 38 year old, Buttigieg has quite a long record of public service. He volunteered for the military. You demean him when you say he only did that because he was "focused on these narrow measures and metrics of "success" as codified by the very elite".

  20. @Parapraxis It doesn't make much sense to dismiss Pete as "of the elite class in connections, educational history and prospects" while being supportive of the other leading candidates, which consist of a Vice President, a Harvard law professor, and a longtime US-Senator.

  21. @Parapraxis It's absurd to suggest that Buttigieg's elite education definitively dictates that he will only serve the elite. He got a Harvard Education and was a Rhodes scholar, not because of connections or family money but because he worked for it and is clearly brilliant. The elite who want to serve the elite don't leave Harvard and returnsto their depressed rust belt Indiana town, nor do they generally sign up for the military, let alone in a time of war. To dismiss this experience as "checking off boxes on a resume" as opposed to what it actually is, legitimate public service, is offensive and small-minded.

  22. I'm a nearly 60-y/o straight white married veteran union member psych RN living in rural PA. We've had what? 25 candidates? Most of whom were irrelevant distractions. It is getting late. Klobuchar doesn't have a chance. Collectively, Biden, Sanders, Warren look like the executive board of the Recreation Committee at a retirement community. Generationally, they're the folks got us into this mess. Biden has more baggage than the Airbus Beluga could carry. Sanders and Warren are popular with their supporters. But America is not Vermont or Massachusetts. I just cannot see them winning against Trump. Strategically, I'd rather see them in the Senate pushing through the programs they advocate. As for Buttigieg's support in the African-American community, neither Booker or Harris exactly electrified these voters. I think at least some of that is fixable. Buttigieg is a vet, Middle America, churchy without being too churchy, certainly intelligent enough. At least thus far, his sexual orientation appears to have been met largely with a collective yawn. It's getting late. At this stage, I'm willing to give Pete Buttigieg a chance.

  23. @Neal Miller What did Sanders do "to get us into this mess." He was against the Vietnam War and the Iraq war and was protesting for civil rights when he was a college student. And throughout his life he has been calling for the country to recognize that there are disadvantaged people that it needs to help. How all those things caused a "mess" is beyond me unless you consider those wars to be correct, that civil rights legislation was wrong, and that the disadvantaged have always been getting their fair share. Yes, Sanders may be old but he has been right on most issues throughout his adult life. I prefer that over a younger person who has been wrong or, like Mayor Pete, hasn't seem to care that much about anything that wouldn't help his career.

  24. @Steve You seem angry that Pete is young and had chosen to serve his community. Its simply not true that he has only done things to advance his (political) career. If he wanted a "big" career in Democratic politics, going home to run as State Treasurer in order to bring the cause of the auto workers to the for front of state politics in an era in which he would most certainly loose, isn't a calculated step in some bigger career. It was an act of service. Serving as Mayor in a mid-size blue city in VERY red state - likewise was done because he thought he could be of service and provide a different vision for his community.

  25. @Steve You are right, Sanders should not be considered as having "got us into this mess" since he was not part of the establishment and has a record of fighting the good fight. However, I strongly urge you to refrain from suggesting that Buttigieg doesn't "seem to care that much about anything that wouldn't help his career." You are talking about a veteran who is a very loving and decent man.

  26. What is the point of a series like this if the reporters spend most of their time asking "gotcha"questions and don't give the candidates the opportunity to speak in depth about the issues that are threatening our democracy in the here-and-now and the planet itself?

  27. @Samsara I think the Times has done this with all the candidates. They see their job as journalists as to grill these people, because these people would be constantly grilled as president. (I saw comments both about how the Times was nicer to Warren than Sanders, and how it was nicer to Sanders than Warren. People project unfairness on the Times when it's their chosen candidate.) I am curious who the Times will land on as a choice, and though I much prefer Warren, my money is on the Times picking Buttigieg. He's intellectual, he speaks well, and he's a centrist. Biden isn't sharp enough or nimble enough anymore. Klobuchar doesn't have the charisma. They're going to push him as Obama 2.0, Harvard pedigree and all. My worry is that he's Obama 0.01, an even more naive, even younger version who knows even less about Washington.

  28. @Samsara I agree. This series of interviews has pushed me closer to canceling my subscription (again). I feel like doing it but I also know the Times doesn't really care if I do. And I appreciate their news reporting. But between the opinion page at large and this series of interviews, I'm so fed up with the editorial board right now.

  29. @RVC As soon as I read the intros to the Warren and Sanders interviews I texted my mother that I was afraid The Times is about to endorse Buttigieg. I myself don't have a clear preference right now, which I find distressing this late in the game, but I'm leaning towards Warren. But even without strong feelings on any of the candidates, it's clear from their interview introductory paragraphs that the editorial board dislikes Warren and Sanders, and sort of likes Yang but doesn't take him seriously (which is sensible). It's their prerogative, of course. It's just unfortunate. Maybe I'll eat my words in a few days when they endorse Warren, but I think the chances are small.

  30. I continue to be amazed that people view Pete Buttigieg as an incrementalist. A brief look at his comprehensive plans for domestic and foreign policy, including requiring a 3-year sunset provisions on all authorizations of military force, drastically reducing the prison population, addressing effects of systemic, inter-generational racist policies, providing universal Pre-K, creating a long-term care insurance plan to deal with the tsunami of Alzheimer's projected for Boomers, recognizing climate change as an existential crisis it is--all show a mind that is up to the challenges of leading with vision and governing with skill. His answers here were far more impressive than the quality of the questions. If the Editorial Board cannot see that Pete cares more about people whose rights have been under attack than he does about the price of Loblaws' bread, then they are sadly lacking in views "informed by expertise, research, debate" as claimed in the heading.

  31. @NFM Sorry, but is not about what candidates propose and promise.. it is all about what they can actually get done in office. Right now.. Pete lacks the political chops to carry through on his promises and plans. More experience in state level politics would go a long way toward fleshing out his skills and capabilities to navigate the political and special interest land mines of Washington.

  32. @Chuck Really? Trump passed a tax cut bill in Congress, both houses as I recall, that further concentrated wealth to the upper 3% echelon of our nation, not anything that is remotely supported by half the population. And he never held public office before being President. You might be short-changing the full spectrum of skills needed to pass legislation.

  33. @NFM Thank you!

  34. As others have stated, some of the questions asked by select journalists here are a bit over the edge. They seem to function as "gotcha's" instead of substantive and thoughtful. It's rather disappointing and unbecoming of the Times as this is a chance for readers and voters alike to really get to know a candidate on a more intimate level. That said, I admire and respect Mayor Pete, and perhaps he still has a shot at the nomination. But I feel that he needs more experience in elected office for me to consider voting for him. If he is not the nominee, I certainly hope the eventual nominee endorses him for a Cabinet or Executive-level position as we need more leaders and minds like him.

  35. Yet another candidate who does not understand the finances of the federal government. Another candidate who believe that kitchen table economics are the way to think about government expenditures. He says, "I certainly believe that when you propose something with a cost, you got to be able to explain how to pay it." The explanation is the same for all programs. The government simply creates the necessary funds. Then you have to explain how the creation of this money will affect the economy. This is a very different question. Suppose your program will cost $X. If you think like Mayor Buttigieg, you have to to point out how you will get exactly $X by a combination of taxes & borrowing. If you think like things really are, you have to ask how will the creation of X dollars affect prices, inflation. While it is certainly true that adding money tends to raise prices, there are two other factors you have to look at, One is how the money will be used. If the money winds up in Scrooge McDuck basement & stays there, it will not affect prices at all. Of course then it will not help the country at all either. The other is how the money & the program affects production. Since the more production we have the lower prices tend to be, if the injection of the money & the program increase production, prices will not go up too much. In any case, if we cannot increase production enough, then we can take some of the money back by taxes. Mayor Pete does not appear to understand this.

  36. @Len Charlap I'm pretty sure that Buttigieg understands this quite well, as he has studied economics at Oxford. He often says that government debt and taxes are not inherently bad. It depends on what you use them for. Financing tax breaks for the rich is a bad use for debt, fighting climate change, although initially expensive will save us so much trouble (ethical and financial).

  37. @Active Germ-line Replicator - It's not a question of inherently good or bad. It's practical questions like if you want to spend a TRILLION on health care how much do you have to tax. Using Buttigieg's kitchen table ideas, you have to tax a TRILLION (or borrow some of it). Using reality, you have to see how much the program would increase the real GDP and then compute the effect of creating that TRILLION would have on inflation It is pretty clear that you would not have to raise the full TRILLION.

  38. @Len Charlap I'm not aware that Buttigieg ever disputed what you are discribing here.

  39. The contrast between Buttigieg and front runner Biden is stark. Biden shows his advanced age by being unsteady on a debate stage in his grasp of the issues and in his proposals. Buttigieg is young, energetic, bright, and smooth, almost to the point where his facility on a debate stage appears scripted. He would be a far more formidable debater than Biden but at the end of the day the question has to be which of the two stands the better chance of defeating Trump. Editorial boards should use that as the primary reason to endorse the Democratic candidate. If I were on the editorial board my pick would be Sanders. Trump would attack him as a socialist but socialism has been an integral part of our country. Just look at the two most important acts in our history that benefit people the most: Social Security and Medicare.

  40. @nzierler Thank you for the kind words. Let me return the favor and tell you that, although I prefer Buttigieg, I like Sander's consistency and compassion. Vote Blue no matter Who.

  41. The questions regarding McKinsey were unbelievable. Pete should not have to continue to apologize for the consulting work he performed. He was an analyst, the bottom-rung position with the lowest responsibility and insight into managerial decision making. Also, consultants do provide advice to their clients as the primary deliverable, but they generally do not implement the strategies, that is up to the client to decide. That being said, can we stop haranguing Mr. Buttigieg about his time at McKinsey as if he was a senior partner running an engagement? Pete took a high paying position at a venerable company because he had an excellent education and because he worked for it! That is the very definition of American bootstrap culture. If anything, his time at McKinsey lends itself to his obvious intelligence and decision making skills. Since when did being sensible, calm, and pragmatic become negative and meme-worthy traits? Oh right, November 2016.

  42. How is this guy still in the race, while worthy candidates such as Senators Booker and Harris are out? It makes no sense to me. Mr. Buttigieg is intelligent and articulate, and has a bright future, but I do not think he will be the Democratic nominee in 2020.

  43. @Chris Rasmussen Well, to answer your question: Over 700,000 voters support his campaign and want him to be the nominee.

  44. @Active Germ-line Replicator I understand that elections ultimately come down to simple math. My question was about the worthiness and experience of the candidates.

  45. @Chris Rasmussen Because he is good

  46. Regarding his answer about docs not accepting the public option and his requiring those who accept Medicare to do this. The times previously pointed out that one possible outcome of such a plan is that less docs would accept Medicare. As those with Medicare are finding it increasingly difficult to find a primary care doc who will accept new patients with this and with the aging of our population, it would seem Buttiegieg's plan could be a recipe for disaster. And although he tries to portray himself essentially as a clerk for McKinsey, let us not forgot this was a Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar. And considering he was able to live off his earnings from his work there to support him as he entered public life, that bonus, which he doesn't state the amount of, must have been pretty good. We also have the question of what his bonus was based on and whether at least part of it was how much money he found to save. And his joining the military smacks less of someone trying to serve his country and more of someone wanting to add to his credentials for a life in public office. He doesn't say he joined because he believed in the rightness or importance of the U.S. cause

  47. @Steve I think we should look favorably on anyone who decides to serve their country in Afghanistan. For those who go there, regardless of their rank or role, there is no guarantee they are coming home. Mayor Buttigieg has spoken of his time in Aghanistan extensively in other publications. If you are truly interested, I'd suggest you seek out that reporting. Otherwise, I'd suggest less cynicism about someone voluntarily going to a war zone to serve their country.

  48. @Steve Pete did say he joined the reserves because he saw an imbalance between college educated recruits and non-college recruits and thought that he wanted to serve. He also had something to offer (Arabic language skills) that could be particularly useful. I think his service reflects his overall drive to "be useful" for the benefit of other people.

  49. @Jeff I think respect for someone's service need not and should not translate blindly into respect for their other actions and policies. I have tremendous respect for Buttigieg for his service, but I am not going to seek that reporting out solely in order to ignore, justify or let that reporting of his service outweigh the things that will affect me directly—his policies.

  50. Fascinating how the Editors grill him on his McKinsey work in the healthcare sector, particularly as it applied to cutting administrative costs at a health insurer. It would seem that eliminating some jobs the reduce healthcare costs is questionable but eliminating all of those jobs (as proposed by Sanders and Warren) is great. (I understand that the circumstances are different but the net effect on the people losing their jobs is the same.)

  51. @SJG The core issue with having "McKinsey Consultant" as an early and prominent entry on your resume is that you were taken out of college by McKinsey and indoctrinated in "The McKinsey Way".. and as such.. you carry some of that for the rest of your life. And the McKinsey way is not public service or what is good for the people.. it is ALWAYS about pleasing your client so you can soak more billable hours out of said client. That is not a ringing endorsement for being a progressive Democrat.

  52. @Chuck Sorry but McKinsey is not a cult and it is absurd that someone should be branded based on their first job. Any independent critical thinker can analyze their experience and learn from it. Did you see that he left McKinsey and later served his country and his community?

  53. @Chuck Well, appearently McKinsey "indoctrinated" him to become a public servant in his home town and to volunteer for the military...

  54. I am curious about Binyamin Appelbaum's background in business. His questioning on McKinsey role seems rather naive from a business acumen perspective. I'd like to see every political candidate (and perhaps editorial board members asking business questions) to outline their experience running P&L operations, particularly when their personal money is on the line.

  55. @MJF Son of a prominent psychiatrist and an author/historian, private day school with 30k+ annual tuition, history major at Penn, podcaster. That's Mr. Appelbaum's business background.

  56. Buttigieg reminds me very much of Obama. I don't think though now is the time for another Obama. As the saying goes: "drastic times call for drastic measures" which has as its root what Hippocrates said: "For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure are most suitable." We are living in extreme times with this ever-worsening climate crisis. We need an extreme method of cure. We need Bernie 2020. He has the most aggressive climate action plan. Buttigieg only has a moderate one. The United Nations says we have 12 years to address this crisis. Let's get it done.

  57. @A Stor mo Chroi Sorry, but Mayor Pete actually has the biggest stake in seeing that we tackle climate change, as he will still be alive to see the results of his actions. I can't believe young people think a 78 year old man in failing health is the answer to saving their future. Same can be said for Warren and Biden - their time has come and passed. Time for generational change. I trust the smarts of Mayor Pete to surround himself with the right people and make the right choices.

  58. @Russ M. Greenpeace rated all the candidates on their climate plans. Bernie got an A-plus. Warren got an A. Biden got a B plus. Buttigieg got a B. And Klobuchar got a C plus. Go to the Greenpeace website for the reasoning behind the grades.

  59. I find it absurd the level of scrutiny Mr. Buttigieg is held to for an entry-level consulting position. These questions lead the reader to believe that he was the top decision maker after a long working history with McKinsey. I guess this is what happens when young people with short histories run for office. People try to make a story out of every second of your past. Someone please cover the working history of every other candidate when they were 22-26 years old. This editorial board quite obviously felt a certain way about the Mayor compared to the other candidates interviews.

  60. @Greg Not to mention, so much time was spent on this matter that substantive issues got shortchanged by the end of the interview.

  61. @Greg I whole-heartedly agree. Over indexed on McKinsey by NYT editorial board who don't represent or understand the working people of mid-america.

  62. It is tiring and disingenuous of Mara Gay to ask questions about the support from the black community. The elephant in the room that Ms. Gay fails to adequately acknowledge is the strain of Baptist conservative Christianity within the black community that views homosexuality as a sin, and Mayor Pete as a sinner. Let's address the issue for what it is. This isn't the case of Mayor Pete not trying to empathize and build policy proposals on that empathy. Rather, it's community's "socially conservative" attitudes that are giving Mayor Pete a cool reception, and so-called progressive journalists, like Ms. Gay, indulge this and give it a free pass.

  63. @c I agree that this needs to be considered. Just as likely a factor, if not more so, is the fact that African American voters' fortunes will fair far worse under another Trump term than white Americans. Many black voters have learned to be cautious. Biden's high support is due almost exclusively to the fact that he's both a known known and his association with Obama. Buttigieg, and nearly all the other Dems, don't have that advantage. People forget that Barack Obama was highly visible and well liked before he ran and yet he didn't attract much support from African American voters until he won Iowa and proved that he could win. You win a few primaries, you're a lot less risky bet.

  64. @c The problem with your theory is that it holds no water. The black community is largely split between Biden (the older voters) and Sander (the younger). Was it Booker's or Harris's sexualities that led to their tepid support among black voters? How about any of the other candidates still in the race who have middling support? Do young voters dislike him because of his sexuality as well? The first issue with this premise is that the interests of the black community vary wildly based on personal background, geography, economic status, etc. and no one candidate can be expected to win them over. That black Americans are treated as a voting block is problematic in itself, but then to prescribe their weak response to Buttigieg to his sexuality as well is such a bad faith argument that ignores the glaring issues he has as a candidate (including the bit in this very interview about the stock photo incident and the publication of fake endorsements).

  65. "More than a resume" is quite a brag for a 37 year-old mayor; I like him. He is smart. He talks in sentences and makes sense. My feeling though is that he should get in line. Show us you can do the job. Lobby for a cabinet position or VP. Run for governor of Indiana or Senate. Do something unusually great and then be president.

  66. @Rosko Indiana is too red for him to win. He doesn't have many options.

  67. Former McKinsey analyst here. Mayor Pete's explanation for joining McK shows a big problem with the meritocratic elite. Graduating from an Ivy League school, I told myself the same story Mayor Pete did ("touching as many fields as I could", learn "how money and goods move around", etc.). It was never quite true. People join firms like McK out of a sense of insecurity. It's sold as a clear path to success. We even had a term for ourselves: "insecure over-achievers". The wonderful, talented people I met at McK could have been doing much more: starting businesses or nonprofits, leading organizations, etc. But that would mean facing the ambiguity of a different path. Andrew Yang actually has a whole book on why this is a problem ("Smart People Should Build Things"), which hits the nail much more than the disingenuous, "gotcha" questions in this interview. (I don't think I ever saw a report that recommended that a company lay off workers, they're much rarer than you'd think. Consultants don't plot with evil CEOs, and are often annoyed when their reports are used as scapegoats by CEOs to avoid blame for layoffs). I'm glad Mayor Pete eventually did start doing more meaningful work.

  68. @Diego Salvatierra I think you make a great point. But let's not undersell the truth. Mayor Pete worked in the private sector for three years, so "eventually" doing meaningful work in his case means, the vast majority of his professional career has been in public service in one form or another.

  69. clear, informed and concrete answers, i see why mckinsey hired him. the reporters, meanwhile, find it hard to stay on point. nuclear power is essential in any restructuring of our energy economy, sure -- but what about a carbon tax? what about broken recycling? what about security issues related to climate? yucca mountain is a sideshow; climate change is more important than mckinsey. wake up, people. and we need to remind ourselves, as sensible adults, that the system is broken by its inordinate complexity, and no mere mortal can fix it. there are no magical powers. one candidate is really not much better or worse than any other, because the problems transcend individuals. besides, the office does its job in spite of the occupant. life goes on, even with a wingnut in the west wing. of course, no individual candidate will affirm those facts. it's politics, people: you're lied to and you like it. not that i'm calling mayor pete a liar. just the opposite: the kind of question and answer that seems like "political journalism" is really, at best, a weak test of basic sanity. he passes with merit. the lie is the pretense that answers here have anything to do with the facts of the future, two or four years from now. or that insight equals action. or that both parties in congress will endorse a candidate's policy.

  70. Pete was through before he began. The democrat part is already nervous about Tump's growing polling numbers with African Americans and as a group African Americans don't support Buttigieg. Those from his own state are the most vocal and that is a big problem as the race tightens. Pete is a nice fellow but way to right for democrats. Only true socialists need apply for this nomination!

  71. Now we have BreadGate? You must be kidding. The questions asked about McKinsey and Mayor Buttigieg's time working there as an analyst reveal a frightening lack of sophistication on the part of the Editorial Board. Tell me, does a new hire at The NY Times participate in high level decisions regarding the running of the paper or the choice of editorial content? Does any freshly minted graduate in a large organization participate in or even understand the complexity of the processes they are involved in? To retrospectively skewer a young man's choice made in a specific time and place as somehow "impure" is beneath this paper. It is a competitive world and to conflate corporate raiders rolling up industries for profit with the need to efficiently run a business is ridiculous. Given this editorial on the heels of the prior one on this exact subject leaves me only to conclude the Times has it in for this candidate.

  72. @Rose You clearly have no understanding of how McKinsey works, much less how they take new grads and mold them into "The McKinsey Way". In fact.. one of the qualifying factors at McKinsey for new hires is a determination as to how malleable they are to training to the McKinsey model.

  73. @Rose I agree with what you wrote, but you really had me laughing at BreadGate!

  74. I find the blue 'fact-checking' text on behalf of the editorial board to be egregious in that your eyes immediately go to said text. I would have appreciated that the bulk of the piece comprised of buttigieg's responses, absent editorial intrustion. However, it consists of a lot of deliberate editorializing that somewhat distracts from the tenor and content of his responses. I understand that the NYTimes wants to be on the cutting edge of reputable political journalism, but I think in the sense of format, this article doesn't pass the smell test in regards to maintaining the utmost level journalistic integrity. I don't think there is inherent bias in this piece, but one might yet misconstrue the blue interjections as institutional bias as opposed to an earnest attempt at contextualization, and furthermore, 'fact-checking'. Anyhow, I appreciated the substantive nature of the questioning and responses.

  75. With such a short resume, there's not much to focus on, so digging into his McKinsey work in detail is fair game. One problem is Pete's shifting explanation of his role and the value of the work experience, depending on which office he is pursuing. Today, he says he was just maker of PowerPoint slides, but when running for Mayor and Treasurer, he portrayed this as a much more important position. He claimed he ”worked in business as an adviser to senior decision-makers, helping to turn their companies around and create jobs.” His words, as quoted in a Washington Post article that covers this topic and includes several very self-aggrandizing statements about his work. Based on my 20 years in consulting, it’s most likely that as a recent college grad he was crunching numbers and making presentations for others to deliver. So, he exaggerated greatly during his previous runs for office.

  76. @Michelle In his previous runs for office his McKinsey work was his only experience outside of college. It's possible that after having been Mayor for 8 years and after a tour in Afghanistan, he simply has a different perspective on it.

  77. Why is the NYT editorial board giving its endorsement when the NY primary is not until April? I great deal can happen, can change between Jan. 19 and the date of the NY primary.

  78. This is marvelous, I love this entire series of Editorial Board interviews. My concern is Mr. B.'s youthful youth, in a phrase, meaning he's not only the youngest candidate on the trail but, notwithstanding his service in the military, one who cannot persuade middle America to switch from a "proven" world leader in terms of the current Oval Office Occupant. Dems need to rally around Warren who clearly has the gravitas to stand up to dictators and thugs the whole world over. IMHO.

  79. @Carl D.Birman Latest stunt Warren did! I don't think so.. Thanks!

  80. @Carl D.Birman I have no doubt that Warren can stand up to dictators all over the world. But for me there is one candidate who exudes calm and confidence. At 38, Buttigieg seems to be a man who is at peace with himself already.

  81. I have read each of the NY Times interviews. The DNC should buy them, and pay to air them nationwide on TV and all streaming services in place of the debates. The extended interview format allows one to see the thinking of the candidates and let me tell you, based on what I have seen to date, if I had to choose the one candidate that thinks deeply, connects the dots, and has an actual achievable plan and the right attitude to bring it about, it would be Pete Buttigieg. Young and inexperienced? Hardly. What I see is someone willing to try new ideas, learn from mistakes, and quickly roll out version 2.0. What I see from the more experienced politicians of the left and right is at best putting new fenders on the same old tired machines they rode to the party. Pete knows as much about trends and programs in government and private industry as Elizabeth Warren or any other policy wonk, but unlike them, he can explain them in an accessible way and knows how they fit into the broader narrative. A damned impressive display.This candidate is morally grounded, unlike the current occupant of the oval office who is morally unaware at best. Thank you, NYT Editorial Board. I especially see the value of the NYT EB's relentless focus on Pete's McKinsey years: it completely defanged this criticism in that he was a junior consultant that learned a lot, yet clearly knows right from wrong and where the lines are. Bravo.

  82. Pete is truly impressive. He has tremendous intelligence and is knowledgeable on such a wide range of issues. He's calm, thoughtful, humorous, and decent. He would be an outstanding representative of our nation.

  83. Mayo Pete's stories shift day by day depending on how he feels when he gets up in the morning. Who knows what he would really accomplish and more importantly whether he could beat Trump. We don't need a Republican-lite for the 2020 election.

  84. @Jacquie You do realize that Pete is to the left of Obama on every issue, right?

  85. He's a talking resume, and a good one, but America in 2020 will never elect a gay man for POTUS. If he is nominated and loses, then Trump will have a green light to destroy Social Security and Medicare. I'm not willing to take take that chance.

  86. @David Henry "... but America in 2020 will never elect a gay man for POTUS." This sort of thing is a tiresome trope. It's what they said as to why Hillary lost (yes, she lost). She didn't lose because she was a woman, but because she was the embodiment of the unhold fusion of the oligarchy and Washington. The right woman would have won 2016. And America would elect the right gay man for POTUS. The question is whether Buttigieg is the right candidate for the moment.

  87. @David Henry "America will never elect a black man!" ...

  88. @David Henry America will never elect a gay man. America will never elect a woman. America will never elect a socialist or a Jew. America will never elect a black man. Oh wait. Can you find the problem with this argument?

  89. Congratulations to Pete Buttigieg for handling this slanted interview so well. Whether or not he wins the Democratic nomination (and the presidency), he's setting a great example through his knowledge, nuance, courage, and spunk.

  90. I have been reading all of these interviews very closely and, thus far, this one blows them all away! Wow, very impressed with the depth and breadth of knowledge Buttigieg possesses, his clear, insightful presentation of his policies, his command of facts and figures, and his constant calm under pressure. And he’s good-humored to boot! If this is “mayo,” then I’ll have extra please! It’s a good feeling to be excited to cast my vote for someone I can believe in and who I believe will work tirelessly on behalf of ALL Americans. Pete for President!

  91. Well I for one have no doubt Sens Warren and Sanders will absolutely protect those Blue Cross jobs! Someone who wore the uniform for our country deserves a little more benefit of doubt, or at least more focus on that. Getting stuck in Afghanistan during the peak of your life isn't a joke.

  92. Really astounding to see these willfully dishonest and leading questions about Mayor Buttigieg's time McKinsey. "You've been on the frontlines of corporate price fixing." Really? From professionals in journalism? Kudos to the Mayor for sticking out the interview with people who were seemingly only interested in a "gotcha" moment, rather than actual insight into him as a candidate.

  93. @Jeff Agreed. This is one of the most sophomoric, hostile and least informative "major league" interviews of a political candidate I’ve read in a while, filled with hackneyed and often downright misleading questioning. And yeah, were they trying to get him to walk out? That's what it begins to read like at some point.

  94. @Jeff I have never read such bias interview. Twitter troll (mayo) question his the low point. Are these people really journalists or other campaigns' hacks?

  95. Your interview made it sound like Buttigieg had committed a major crime by working for McKinsey, that he was responsible for people losing jobs, that he did it for the money and that he was peripherally involved in price fixing. Is this how you people think?

  96. Buttigieg would be a gleeful return to Obama...integrity, calm, grace, real faith...he's the one. He's the anti-Trump. Democrats better wake up.

  97. Everyone's choice for Vice-President.

  98. I have a nagging notion about Buttigieg that he's too much the precocious kid who knows how to impress the adults and is desperate to do so. His answers are too perfect, too complete, too...packaged feeling. Yes, yes, of course I'd vote for him in a heartbeat over the current occupant. Maybe I'm be being shallow. But people who need to be accepted and liked as much as he seems to be don't typically make good leaders.

  99. @Livonian "His answers are too perfect and too complete." Were that they were only flawed and half thought through. I mean, who wants a president that's done his homework anyway? Who can relate to that?

  100. @Livonian . . . This was his primary cognitive motivation for three decades as a function of being in the closet; being a perfect little boy is an archetype among gay men for a reason.

  101. @Livonian Everyone wants to be liked and deserves to be accepted. "Belonging" is a big part of Buttigieg's campaign. To insinuate that he has an unhealthy "need to be accepted and liked" is demeaning.

  102. You forgot to ask him why does he think he can win a national election when he more than likely will not even carry his home state of Indiana?

  103. @Lou Panico the problem with that litmus test is that it would exclude Democrats from any red state. As one, in Tennessee, we already feel disenfranchised enough. I am all for a Democrat from a red state because maybe, just maybe, they won’t turn off as many red state voters and make elections closer than coastal liberals and make it more competitive.

  104. @Lou Panico So, unless a Democrat can prove they can carry Indiana, they should be disqualified? Let me know when you find that Democrat.

  105. Did he mention his faith and military service at all? I'm just wondering if that came up a few times because he's usually reticent to continually bring those things up.

  106. @Maggie You are incorrect. Buttigieg served on over 100 missions "outside the wire," with many photos circulating online to document this fact.

  107. @Maggie Is serving in our military in a war zone only respected if you're Rambo? PB was an intelligence analyst who also volunteered more than 100 times to drive others outside the wire. It was dangerous. I"ve read so many armchair warriors' remarks denigrating his service as too "safe." Pretty sad angle to take on a brilliant former soldier who's also brave enough to run for president.

  108. Pete is against a wealth tax, but wouldn't explicitly say so when interviewed by this paper. Perhaps he is tuning his points closer to what the editors want to hear than what he actually believes politically (let alone personally). At least he was brave enough to say he would stand up to the Twitter mob, something we don't see enough.

  109. Mr. Buttigieg, you are applying for the toughest job in the world, and if successful, you will be taking over when our nation is profoundly broken. Having a vision is great, but a vision by itself is not enough. You must have the experience to implement that vision. You don't have that, and we cannot afford to have someone, no matter how earnest, learn on the job at this time. Go get some real world experience at a high level, come back in 8 years and we'll talk again.

  110. @Bruce1253 Literally every president is learning on the job. Every single one. Their ability to learn, analyze complex problems and work with others to find solutions is a matter of attitude, temperament and intellect far more than it is experience. Experience cuts both ways. Yes, it can give you insights and skills you wouldn't otherwise have. But it can also get you stuck in one inflexible way of thinking. That is the appeal of a Washington outsider.

  111. @Bruce1253 No one has experience to be US President. What such a person needs is knowledge and wisdom, both of which Buttigieg has in spades.

  112. Regarding Buttigieg's work as a consultant, the journalist asked "Did you understand the purpose of the companies you worked for to be _exclusively_ to maximize their profitability?" Buttigieg calmly replied that he worked for nonprofits as well. And, indeed, the blue text confirmed that two thirds (!) of his clients were nonprofits... I had to laugh when I visualized the journalist fact checking this and realizing that this question was not as tough as intended.

  113. I'm just curious. Why does this candidate's "Opinion" article get higher billing than Yangs? If NYT intends these pieces to provide an impartial view across all candidates, they should all get equal billing above the fold. Yesterday's feature on Yang was buried among other headlines below the fold. Not sure why the media is reluctant to provide fair and equal coverage for all candidates. Media, unfortunately, shapes our country's opinion. NYT has a VERY significant role in this, and we must try harder than blindly trusting some web search and click behavior algorithm to manage what appears above the fold. Do we really want an algorithm to dictate how this country should move forward?

  114. I would rather have someone in their 30s who has worked their entire life to be qualified for the presidency, than someone in their 60s or 70s or just fell backwards into running. I think Pete is definitely not as experienced as the others, but I think he has what it takes. He will have a cabinet filled with the smartest and most experienced people anyway. I think if Pete does not become president this cycle, he will become president at some point. He is smart and well-spoken and isn't a buffoon like our current administration. We need more people like him.

  115. I would be very interested in having 45 answer this set of questions, unassisted.

  116. @Jenny I’d be very interested to see if 45 responds as good-humoredly to being compared to a cheeto as Buttigieg did to the waste-of-space mayonnaise portion of this interview.

  117. @Jenny Why? So he can go on campaign rallys and rant and complain about how unfair the questions were? And how "perfectly" he answered each one? :)

  118. Best laugh of the day! Thanks, Jenny.

  119. We have some "old gummer" candidates in the run, and we have young Pete as well. Here's the problem... being bright and articulate is not what qualifies you to be President of the United States. Where your resume is concerned... your ACTUAL documented experience as capable and serious administrator in public office is what matters. AND.. scale matters. Petes sole experience is as Mayor of a small city.. one where by the way.. he has been criticized for being inept in the face of some serious social challenges in said city. I honestly do not think Pete is running for President.. but rather running for Vice President or a key cabinet position. It just works that running for president and losing the nomination is a great resume addition for something bigger, but subordinate to, President. Pete needs way more political experience (10 more years, in actual legislative or executive service at the state level) .... just as much as some of the old career politicians need to step aside and let younger and equally capable politicians carry the banner for president. The old timers are an issue (very set in their ways), but Pete is not the solution.

  120. So, working for a consulting firm that analyzed a health care giant and gave recommendations on how to cut costs is somehow suspect now? Okay, so then what if you are proposing a Medicare For All plan that will eliminate all of those jobs? Cost-cutting is at the heart of any healthcare debate. Why an entry level job that touched on that a decade ago is relevant is beyond me. Is McKinsey the new "but her emails"?

  121. People need to let go of the McKinsey thing and get a bit more educated about what first year consultants actually do at places like BCG, Bain and McKinsey. Scut Puppy, and powerpoint jockey would be two apt descriptors. New consultants gather data in meeting with lower level employees filling out endless templates and creating slides on topics like org structure and staffing levels. Blaming a new consultant for layoffs would be like blaming the guy who unchocked the wheels on the Enola Gay for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. I'm guessing his biggest sin was fetching coffee for overly self important partners who propose the real bloodletting anyway. PS McKinsey just does the dirty work that management already knows needs to be done.

  122. What I've noticed in previous reporting about Mr. Buttigieg in these pages is that the NYT is not keen about his candidacy. No, he will not pass the test for all the liberal sacred cows. Instead, he comes across as real, with extremely important experience in the military and in the private sector. I have to ask what would the NYT prefer? Someone who, like many of the other candidates, know nothing except life in the halls of government, and non-profit sectors? What I see in this interview is an attempt to reveal all the liabilities and none of the benefits of a candidate like Mr. Buttigieg. The United States at this critical time in its history needs candidates like Mr. Buttigieg--ones outside the D.C. and NYC bubbles, with broad-based experience who can relate to Americans in flyover country.

  123. Well, it is quite clear that the NYT will not be backing Buttigieg. This interview was far more aggressive about digging into a candidate's past than any other yet published. Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar -- they've all been in politics for a while, yet they suffered through minimal questioning about past foibles. Additionally, each had one or more questions playing into their strengths, allowing them to preen (such as Klobuchar's impressive ability at proposing legislation that actually is enacted). Pete got none of these. Instead, there was an incessant return to McKinsey and his relationship (or lack thereof) with the black community - no matter what the question was originally about. The taunting questions about Mayo Pete verged on repulsive. This felt like a hatchet sober to me, especially when compared with other interviews to date, leaving me deeply disappointed in the Times.

  124. @Steven The NYT articles on Pete have all disparaged him. It is this paper which "broke" the story on McKinsey, as if it were a crime to have worked there. I am more and more feeling let down by the obvious partisan bias of the NYT. Saying that the EB is independent is like saying that Fox News is independent. What a sad indictment of the Times.

  125. You know what this interview could've used? Another seven questions about Buttigieg's time at McKinsey. Good grief. By the time the board actually got to anything substantive that he hadn't already addressed a dozen times, there was no time left but to ask a few flimsy questions about climate change, combating white nationalism, and oh, mayo.

  126. The opening paragraph is basically "I know we have a lot to discuss about actual issues like foreign policy and climate change, but if we could just circle back to the McKinsey scandal that the very people in this room fabricated out of thin air for just a moment..." And then it went on. For pages and pages. Good for Buttigieg for enduring that. I think I would have walked out.

  127. Mayo Pete needs to run for the Senate or something. I'm sorry, Pete, but this is the U.S. of America, not the Ukraine. Surely we have better options with experience beyond junior smarts.

  128. @Tracy Rupp Indiana is too red. If it were possible, he would be running at the state level.

  129. Given the Times own history of questionable labor practices (layoffs, consolidations, freelancing, credible charges of sexism, etc), I found the over-the-top judgmentalism over the candidate's brief stint with a consulting firm quite insufferable. I'm no fan of McKinsey or their brand of corporate management practice. But it is quite mainstream. It is, in fact, the dominant workplace style, even at the Times, even at many nonprofit workplaces. This is much, much bigger than Buttigieg. There is also the fact that the young Buttigieg left behind not only McKinsey, but that whole world. He obviously did not find it congenial. So why the long knives?

  130. "You’ve been on the front lines of corporate price fixing" - glad PB called BA out on this nonsensical statement. While the interviewers seemed all over the place and out of their depth, Buttigieg did his best to provide thoughtful answers and not take the bait.

  131. I'm guessing from the Editorial Board's bizarrely heavy focus on Buttigieg's employment at McKinsey as a junior analyst that he ain't their guy and they will be endorsing someone else on January 19. Given that level of concern, are they going to be asking Elizabeth Warren to explain why she hired McKinsey to do consulting work when she was a professor at Harvard? And whether she repudiates that decision today? And are they going to ask her about whether she tried to talk her daughter out of working there for 3 years? And if they aren't asking those questions, why not? Seems like those are fair and necessary questions given the focus of this interview.

  132. Rather interesting this focus on Buttigieg's supposed connection to reducing overhead in the healthcare field, as if this approach is inherently vulture capitalism of some sort. Isn't much of the focus in the healthcare debate about reducing costs and overhead? Isn't Medicare For All seeking to eliminate ALL of those jobs he's being accused of being party to reducing? In the clips I've seen, I can't get past the hostility and condescension from some members of your board. Very discouraging, New York Times. Very discouraging.

  133. This interview was a really good opportunity to get at the range and depth of PB's experiences and ideas and what they might mean for the nation if he becomes the next president. Sadly, the interview was mostly cheap shots. It would be a lot more honest of the EB to just say we don't like him and we won't back him. After all you're entitled to your own opinion; just don't wrap it up in the form of a phony interview like Fox News.

  134. I agree with some of the other comments here that the focus on his experience at McKinsey at the beginning of the interview was unfair and pretty ridiculous. I have worked as a consultant and you don't always get a say about the projects you work on and the resulting decisions the client makes. He was also fresh out of school. The rest of the interview demonstrates Pete's honesty, intellectual curiosity, problem solving ability and vision for the future. We don't need someone with decades of experience to be President, but need a good leader who can unite people and bring about positive change. He is the right person for our country right now.

  135. Now for a reality check: Having just gone through the background descriptions of the members of The New York Times Editorial Board we noticed something Buttigieg has that they don't - Real World experience. In the private sector. As a soldier. As a politician working for the public good. The Editorial Board, with 2 exceptions, consists of people who have lived their entire lives in that rarefied, non-real world of the Media and Academia. America takes place in the factories, in the fast food joints, in the lines where one quarter of the nation relies on Food Stamps. Those are the voices that aren't heard or reflected in NYTs Editorial Board questions. Multiple questions from an Editorial Board member whose single specialty is being an entertainment writer? That certainly tells us where priorities are around here.

  136. Thank you, JohnBarleycorn. There many are very genuine criticisms being raised here about the NYT "editorial board" line of questioning in Buttigieg's interview. This substantial concern begs for a response from 'them' [in the same way that some of the oped writers such as Bruni and Kristof, among others, have done]. Editorial Board: Are you listening?

  137. @kim mills No, they’re not listening. We are the beneficiaries of their elite wisdom; they have nothing to learn from us.

  138. I agree with other readers about the tone and emphasis here --some members of the board appear to want to see candidates who are damn near qualified for sainthood --- this is an absurd and unrealistic standard. Buttigieg's time at McKinsey was relatively short and in the scheme of things, a relatively minor part of his story and what he has to offer. These are real world candidates with real world experience - grow up already and listen to what they have to say instead of trying to embarrass them. Use your powers for good.

  139. Empty suit. Corporate man.

  140. And I am getting hopeful that he works out eventually through the rigors of the Junk Democratic polls and party leaders that dumped Barney in 2016 really illegally.

  141. Some of these questions show a serious lack of professionalism and journalistic integrity from the interviewers (Mayo Pete, "on the front lines of corporate price fixing"), I am shocked that these questions were asked by the editorial board of this paper.

  142. I continue to be impressed by his command of the issues. Have yet to see him tripped up on a question—at least one that relates to the governing of our country. Have not seen this from another candidate. I love that he is a scholar of not only the American political system, but also the world beyond. His ability to listen and then process will serve him well, as will his commitment to public service and the greater good. I look forward to voting for him.

  143. As a young kid just out of college with a six-figure college debt, would you not take a job in a well paying firm? And how influential is a kid straight out of college, on the firm? As much as the executives, to influence corporate decisions? When a white woman runs for President, the "woman" is revolutionary and the "white" is no big deal. When a gay, white guy runs for President, the white is all people can point to? I recall being stunned to hear that a gay guy was planning to run for President. I didn't think he had a chance ... and yet he is doing better than one could expect -- does any one ever highlight his success in getting people to overcome that?

  144. @Sue And, somehow, being gay no longer contributes to diversity among the candidates. I guess that is because there have been so many gay presidents in the past.

  145. @Steven well you know, starting with James Buchanan and Lincoln....;)

  146. I would certainly hope he was more than just a resume. If were just that, he'd be practically incorporeal.

  147. He's turning 38 in a few days.

  148. Let's lay off Mr. Buttigieg (and any candidate for that matter) regarding their salaries. Living in Los Angeles with a combined income of about 90k, my wife and I still live paycheck-to-paycheck. Rent, childcare, family expenses, health bills, school loans. I'm not a stranger to financial struggles just because my paycheck may look high to a lot of Americans. We're working hard for each other, our kids and our community. I'm sure that Mr. Buttigieg and his husband had similar issues in their early career. Mr. Buttigieg is motivated, talented, smart and brave. It's a low blow to try to knock him down over a career that any American should be proud to pursue.

  149. I’m an avid reader, subscriber, and advocate for the NYTimes. I have read the other interviews and was surprised when I read this one. Like many others commenters, I was disappointed by the quality and intent of the EB’s interview questions. The team had every right to explore any topic and ask hard questions, but the level of poor sportsmanship and self-importance on display was damning to the institution. Pete showed that he wasn’t a chump and the EB showed their lack of knowledge about many of the topics that they claimed to be. Hard pass, NYTimes.

  150. Can I just say that the NYT comes across as completely ignorant of why consulting firms exist, what they do, or how they operate. The idea that a low level employee of McKinsey is responsible for all of its projects, and all of the actions of the clients it advises, is a COMPLETE joke, and they spend about 1/3 of this interview not only focused on it, but attempting to prove some moralistic point about cost-cutting. NYT -- please, get a grip on how business works before you do major interviews about it.

  151. What a tremendous read. It took me 90-minutes. Aside from wading through one columnists’ banter over the McKinsey years (Pete was morally, if not criminally liable for 16-years of price fixing on Canadian bread? Seriously?) the remainder of this was difficult, complex, compelling and revealing. I’ll have to work hard between now and Saturday to get through Biden’s, Warren’s and Sander’s... before you publish your editorial. So much more insightful than the debates. I was struck by the Mayor’s skill to simply articulate, on the fly, a thought or a process of reaching a decision, or reaching back and recalling why a moment in his youth was transformative. We’re at such a deficit with the current President in being able to think and communicate critically that I wonder if what I’m really looking for is not a parsing of Democratic policy platforms but a compelling contrast to Trump’s leadership style. I valued his description of Presidential decisions that finally reach his desk are most likely to be genuine dilemmas, equally bad choices, and the principle of “what’s right” and “what path does the least harm” as the boundaries for how he makes up his mind. He’s thoughtful. He’s articulate. And he’s clearly anticipating what the job requires in a way the current occupant failed to grasp prior to his arrival. I could easily vote for this guy. He’s grounded. He might just be able to restore my faith in my country.

  152. Wow. Just wow. I have been following all of these candidate interviews and have been grateful for the detail that the long-form style provides. However, I am flabbergasted by the relative bias and hostility revealed in the questioning of Buttigieg. First, as other commentators have noted, the focus of his short time working as a McKinsey analyst is excessive and takes up fart too much space, which could otherwise be devoted to real issues (where were the questions about Warren's many years of moonlighting for corporate clients? that's the analogue). Time was even more flagrantly wasted pushing him to respond to the "Mayo Pete" memes. I didn't see them asking Warren to defend herself against the "Pocahontas" name-calling. I doubt they will ask Biden to justify why he isn't "Sleepy Joe." Why is it ok to legitimize nasty and meaningless smears if they are spread by Bernie bros instead of our vile President? Uniform standards would be nice. I don't think there is any mystery about who this bogus "editorial board" will endorse on the 19th. The questions reveal it all.

  153. @Rachel so agree! the name calling was beyond hostile. I am outraged by this interview. the bias was flagrant.

  154. @Rachel I'm outraged as well. Pathetic questioning. And downright bullying. wow.

  155. I think we can expect good things tfrom Buttigieg. But, no, he is not qualified to be president. Obama was as skillful a talker and decided to become president. When it came to having the confidence and experience to stand up to Wall Street, Mitch McConnell, Syria, Obama had little fight. He could have made at least a stand for Merrick Garland but we go nothing. Sorry Mr. Buttigieg...you may have vision, but you don't have the chops to see it get enacted in an environment as ruthless as DC.

  156. @cece I loved Obama's character, but believe Buttigieg has not only the same moral and intellectual depth but also an extremely strong spine. As he says (and too many overlook), he's unafraid of bullies. Don't mistake graciousness, introversion and calm for weakness. PB is strong as they come, given what he's lived through. He'll show it as president. I can't wait.

  157. I'm beginning to wonder - have any of the people interviewing Buttigieg ever lost a job (or seen a friend lose a job) because of McKinsey "analysis" ? Unfortunate if that happened, but not appropriate to air disgruntlement in the form of obsessive McKinsey questions to Buttigieg. I agree with readers who say that this was a beginning job for Buttigieg. It doesn't seem plausible that he was "in charge" of final decisions of the company. On the other hand, his experience at McKinsey would serve him well as President, especially because he has so many plans to increase government spending and involvement (for admirable programs). Heaven knows there is waste in government work (uh, military?) Buttigieg would be able to structure federal endeavours in ways to keep them healthy and effective so that they would not have to lay off people.

  158. If the tone, let alone a sizable percentage of the questions in this interview, is any indication of the growing irritation w the media - for which the Times is both a proxy and thus has a higher standard to hold itself to - this Democrat can appreciate the right’s frustration. This is the most arrogant panel I have ever read. This was not an interview. It was an ambush. My candidate is somewhere between Klobuchar-Bloomberg-Buttigieg-Bennett-Biden but to be clear the Times ambushed Buttigieg here with its panelists’ college sophomore tilt/angst regarding corporations. The presumption that the Mayor has to consult specific (approvable) minority voices to be credible on race issues is a joke. It’s as if the Times likes Cornell West but William Julius Wilson not so much as the panel imposed some kind of purity test on the candidate. A test by the way not applied to the other candidates in their interviews. No wonder Bloomberg blew the Times off. Very disappointing given how illuminating the interviews w Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren were.

  159. I'll vote for Mayor Pete in 20 years, when he has 20 years of all that information you can't learn in school under his belt.

  160. @Chris I've good news for you: At the age of 38, Buttigieg is already out of school for 20 years.

  161. Valuable time with a presidential candidate was wasted on some of the most inane, irrelevant questions imaginable. Boils down to, "Why did you decide to take a paying job out of college? Isn't it your fault for profit companies downsize and optimize? Why aren't you more like Edward Snowden?" The EB needs better questioners.

  162. This is a galling and irresponsible interview by the Ed Board of a paper of record. Look at Warren’s interview and Pete’s. Echoing Twitter conspiracy theories? Memes? Telling a gay man he should “emote more”? Failing to cover the depth and breadth of his experience and results as Mayor, time in military, and thoughtful policies? I’m disgusted.

  163. @ERT Amen! I'm disgusted too.

  164. The New York Times should be thoroughly embarrassed by this interview, which would have been naive and unprofessional even from a student journalist. I don't understand Mayor Pete any better now, but I do understand how thoroughly disdainful the editorial board is of capitalism and private business.

  165. @Anon Y Mous The NYT is a capitalist private business, so perhaps your attitude does not jive well with reality.

  166. "Did you understand that what you were doing as a McKinsey consultant at that company that you were working to prepare for layoffs and price increases?" Are you kidding? This is a question for vetting a presidential candidate? I guess Kamala Harris has disqualified herself from ever being considered as a candidate for public office. And Sanders laid off hundreds in 2016. Not a lot of solidarity there. I've been involved in actions where certain engineering functions were outsourced and off-shored as a result of a top to bottom study of our business structure. The actions made sense in spite of the protests of the US-based employees. Those protests would have been probably been described as xenophobic by many OP-ED writers including Paul Krugman with a secondary charge of racism thrown in for good measure. Now continue with exciting the mob.

  167. Buttigieg is the multinational corporations' best chance of maintaining control of the US government.

  168. @civiletti No, that would be Trump.

  169. Mr. Buttigieg answered the questions with a sophisticated extrapolation of actual true elements before him. I will bet that each and every decision he would make as President would be carefully considered based on his absorption and application of the information needed to do the right thing. We need this young man there right now. He has my vote.

  170. After four years of cringing, whom do we want to see on the world stage in our names? President Obama earned admiration and respect, both of which were a credit to the whole country. Can you see Buttigieg in that role? I can. Or Klobuchar. Or Biden. I have had my fill of wild-eyed populism and I'm ready for polish and stature.

  171. I was impressed with the breadth of Mayor Buttigieg’s knowledge; less impressed with the silliness (and arrogance) of some of the editorial board’s questions. Why devote so much time to the Mayor’s brief tenure at McKinsey? Why the ridiculous suggestion that an entry level analyst might have had the power to green light layoffs and price fixing? Why the attempt to shame a candidate of modest financial means for having sought and accepted a well-paying job (flash bulletin to the e.d.: real people have real bills to pay)? And what to make of the infantile mayo-memes queries? Confronted with such nonsense, it’s a good thing the Mayor has brains and patience to spare.

  172. He is a good candidate. I don't think the NYT interview did him justice. The opening section of questions attacked his work at McKinsey as a junior analyst, first job out of college, and I doubt anyone read further than that long section and so that's all readers gained by this article. The questions were hostile. This interview was not fair to Buttigieg.

  173. Absolutely, eloquent, clear man. If you can face an inquisition from a supposedly erudite group who seem intent on mocking you and not exhibit even a tiny bit of discomfort or anger, you have won the admiration of many readers no doubt. The editorial board needs to introspect on their rather mean spirited questioning with the intent to make the candidate look bad. It certainly added no value to what he had done at McKinsey (as 20 year old kid), why he had done it, or how that was influencing his present values. In fact the NYtimes did Bernie Sanders the same kind of disservice when he was running against Hillary Clinton in 2016. As an unintended consequence it might have contributed to coloring this nation a very bright red. It is very reassuring to be exposed to a candidate who can communicate clearly on a magnitude of issues Good luck. You have a lot of supporters out here in Cali :-)).

  174. Interesting to compare this to Elizabeth Warren's interview. Right from the headline ("Elizabeth Warren is ready..." vs "Pete Buttigieg SAYS he's more...") there's some very loaded choices of words. The first question in each interview is about a scandal/controversy. But Buttigieg is asked about his own problems, while Warren is asked multiple questions about Biden's controversies.

  175. @Kevin Costello Well! Is Elizabeth still ready after she lied about Bernie.. I found Pete's interview extremely bias.. Such a brilliant man. He would be great president

  176. The interview, regardless of the strength or weakness of the questions, revealed PB to have a broad resume, with many impressive achievements. But his answers revealed that his resume is not deep. He was often evasive. He talks about getting experience in the "real world," but his is limited. He used the "cog in the machine" argument concerning his time at McKinsey, yet called for individual responsibility for illegal actions of a company. Immoral is not the same as illegal, of course, but where is the line? He began his campaign with the assertion it was tine for "generational change," as if he and his generation were the people to ameliorate or eliminate the baleful politics of the Reagan Era and Trumpism. His implicit and sometimes explicit dismissal of older Americans and of the generations between his and that of the Baby Boomers is insulting simplistic and ignorant. He may be Presidential timber someday, but he's not yet ready for prime time. Having said all that, he's still light years ahead of Trump.

  177. I would have been interested to know the reasoning behind his thinking of combined salary of $150,000 disqualifying a family to send their child to a public college for free. Wealthy kids go to prestige private schools, period. That would not change were public college tuition eliminated for all. It's petty to think that at the off chance that a few "rich kids would go to school for free" millions of struggling families will not get to send THEIR kids to college for free. And by the way, by this slam dunk you can recognize who really gives a damn and who doesn't. Hint: It's the corporate type politicians who use that line. "I'm not going to let rich kids go to school for free." Hillary Clinton used it, Amy Klobuchar uses it, Pete Buttigieg uses it. And that tells me a lot about a candidate. And you know what it tells me a lot about as well? The mainstream media who never, ever calls a candidate out on this absurdity (or others). It leads one to wonder, in journalism school, do they discourage follow up questions? And if they don't discourage them, why aren't they being used? And why do reporters and cable hosts continue to be employed (and, on cable, be paid 7-figure salaries) if they can't be bothered to ask follow up questions to nonsensical verbiage when those issues are so impactful for a huge part of the population? Jorge Ramos is a notable exception. He considers journalism a public service. I wish more of his colleagues would feel the same.

  178. @Margaret I think Buttigieg's reasoning is that any tax dollar not spent on the rich (only the top 10% are above the $150,000 threshold) is a tax dollar that could be spent on other important things such as health care and fighting climate change.

  179. NYT, thank you so much for this in depth interview with Pete Buttigieg. I have been drawn to him, to vote for him in my primary. But I didn’t really know his thoughts about important issues, or much about him. Your interview filled in the blanks. Now I’m fully on board for him and will volunteer for his campaign. Maybe the young people haven’t caught on to him because he’s fully an adult. I can’t wait for when he’s sworn in as President.

  180. The implication that a 22 year old analyst months out of college could cause layoffs at a major corporation 2 years after that individual interacted with the company reveals a perspective of the private sector that calls into question the Editorial Board's competence. I am stunned by the poor quality of questions asked by the Editorial Board. Why not ask about what he thinks about tech monopolies, climate change, data privacy rights, wage stagnation, or any other of the multitude of economic issues facing the country? Instead, you spent time suggesting that Buttigieg orchestrated an elaborate scheme in Canada to fix the price of bread as a 23 year old. Maybe he's not the most personable and relatable guy in the race, but your implication that he's some evil capitalist set out on disenfranchising workers and consumers by fixing the price of bread is a joke.

  181. A very interesting interview, Mr Buttigieg as always proving himself to be well capable of holding his own, giving intelligent answers to your Editorial Boards questions . I have a couple of questions of my own. 1. Why is it that Mr Buttigieg working for McKinsey has to be seen in such a negative light .Why would any young person pass up an opportunity to work for a company of the caliber of McKinsey. Having done so why would they be vilified more than ten years later, especially when there is no evidence to date of Mr Buttigieg having broken any law or any wrongdoing on his psrt while working for McKinsey 2. In terms of Mr Buttigieg's campaign failing to resonate with the African American community I find it odd that your Editorial Board chose to ignore the obvious question . That is of course the impact that Mr Buttigieg's sexuality has on his inability to connect with this demographic. I recognize that no one group is monolithic however the elephant in the room should not have been ignored. The fact that African American religious organizations have traditionally condemned homosexuality and taken a stance against any expansion of civil rights for the LBGTQ community should at least have been a talking point, in the uphill battle Mr Buttigieg now faces in attracting support from this important segment of the Democratic Party.

  182. @Alec Appearently none of the candidates not named Biden does too well with the African American community. If Buttigieg does well in the primary, maybe they will reconsider. Give it time.

  183. I have a couple questions. 1. How did a basically unheard of a mayor from the Midwest get plugged into the media circuit? They gave him a national platform for his mesage. Who are his connections? What did it cost and who paid for it? 2. Why did the NYT and other media outlets turn on him? Is it because he would roll back the tax cuts? Or maybe, despite being painted as a centrist, he's actually a progressive, wearing the suit of a centrist to get elected.

  184. @Kitty Liz Smith followed an aggressive strategy from the beginning of booking Pete with anybody who would interview him, from little mommy blogs or YouTube channels to the major networks. Pete can do that, unlike candidates who are selective in who they will talk to and set conditions on the interview, because he thinks fast on his feet and is unafraid of unexpected questions. He gets invited back because the audience likes what they are and media like to have lots of viewers (and the ad revenue that results).

  185. This was a really snarky set of questions....what a missed opportunity. And Ms. Harris, you did imply he was gross. Did you also make fun of the nice, smart kid who always did his homework and aced all his exams in high school? I’m disgusted by the tone of this so called interview. Pete handled it very well and provided thoughtful answers when most of us would have walked out.

  186. Let's start with 'I love the NYT', read it everyday, subscriber forever...however the Times just dropped a few pegs in my view. What's with the all the focus on Buttigieg's McK days? He was a junior consultant, did a lot spreadsheets, presentation decks and regression analysis and, had a good salary. So what! Further, the claim by one of your editorial board members that Buttigieg was 'on the front lines of corporate price fixing and our misadventures in foreign policy' is absurd and insulting to Buttigieg and all thinking readers. I am an undecided voter and was looking forward to hearing the NYT's endorsement. Not so much now.

  187. @katev I couldn't agree more. I have read all the NYT interviews with the candidates, and this one is markedly different in tone and substance. It's as if the Editorial Board does not take Mr. Buttigieg or his candidacy seriously. If you can, head over to the Washington Post today, and see how their Editorial Board interviewed Deval Patrick. It's exactly what I would expect from a first-rate newspaper. Think I'll be looking at the Post's endorsement instead.

  188. @Deb Larson The WA Post's interview of Buttigieg was quite good. It was a few weeks ago, if I'm recalling correctly.

  189. @DM Just a brief note of thanks for letting me know about Mr. Buttigieg's interview with the Washington Post Editorial Board. It was wide-ranging and informative, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a clearer and more objective look at Mr. Buttigieg as a presidential candidate. The interview took place on December 15, 2019, and a search on the Washington Post website will take you right to it. Thanks again.

  190. From where I sit, it’s perfectly reasonable to question a candidate’s affiliation with a firm that demonstrates questionable ethics. Many of us, upon graduating from college, made decisions as to what jobs we wanted based on our values. McKinsey has had many scandals, particularly in the 90’s when they were basically advising insurance companies such as All State and State Farm to trim the amount they paid claimants or to deny claims outright. People who had been diligently paying their premiums were out in the cold once disaster struck. They were offered a pittance and many were forced to take it rather than fight the giant insurers. Naturally, the insurers increased their profits. Way to go, McKinsey! There were many court battles. Look it up. So yes, this does reflect on the candidate. Choices matter, and Buttigieg had many choices. When you enter the field of Presidential candidates, you are open to such scrutiny.

  191. @TM Except no other candidate was scrutinized the same way, or as inaccurately. It is wholly inaccurate to say he worked for a company that price fixed. Also, they did not bring up EW "Pocahontas" issue- other candidates "meme" presence, or the fact that EW is a millionaire who worked for private "evil" clients and even hired McKinsey. That is not relevant to EW either, but it shouldn't have been the primary focus of a PB interview.

  192. These sessions are as fascinating for the insights they provide into the various individuals who comprise the editorial board as they are for learning more about the candidates. Bravo to the Times for pulling back the curtain. Who knew there was so much to see?

  193. Much has been written about Mayor Pete's smarts. The answers he gave to these questions -- skewed as they were toward a supposed laundry list of small complaints "progressives" have against him, with the real life-and-death ones coming strangely at the end rather than the beginning -- only confirm this. Left largely of these questions to me is a picture of his obvious integrity. It takes guts to come out, to volunteer for Afghanistan, to walk away from a corporate life, to face black voters when something dreadful happens on your watch, some of which you had nothing to do with and tried to forestall. How would others have performed, I wonder? This forward-looking man of conscience and clarity has earned my support. I wish him well.

  194. I'll begin by saying I like a lot of things about Pete Buttiegieg. He's smart, serious, compassionate, and also one of the few Democratic candidates willing to say he sees a place for the ultra-wealthy in the party (which is critical not only because the Dems are supposed to be the wide-tent party, but more so because if the Dems don't welcome the wealthy, the Republicans will... and the country is suffering from a surfeit of rich Republicans). If he's the nominee, he has my vote over Donald Trump. But I see him more as a VP candidate, in part because of his youth, and also because despite having been a mayor, he's inexperienced outside Washington. Nothing helps a president push an agenda more than allies in the House and Senate, and Mayor Pete, impressive though he is, lacks those... for now. Were he to serve as VP, he could forge some alliances and be better positioned to succeed in four or eight years. Or... maybe he should be considered to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. Improving that massive bureaucracy would also be fine preparation for becoming POTUS.

  195. @D Price I'd like to commend your honest thought process. However, compared to some of his competitors, Buttigieg is anything but "inexperienced outside Washington". He has seen the world. And to many supporters his lack of Washington experience is part of his charm. Remember that the last two Democratic presidents weren't Washington insiders either.

  196. @Active Germ-line Replicator In terms of foreign policy knowledge and relevant experience, I would place Buttigieg second after Biden. Warren, though well positioned on the Armed Services Committee, has not shown much interest. Her first trip to Afghanistan was not until 2017. Buttigieg understands the Middle East; he will have no learning curve there. The last debate spent the first 30 minutes on foreign policy, and Buttigieg more than held his own.

  197. @Active Germ-line Replicator My cousin has seen the world. That doesn't mean she has political experience such that she's qualified to be president.

  198. Guys, let's not forget that one person directed that ridiculous accusation toward Buttigieg, not the entire editorial staff. That being said, I want to address something that interviewers and voters forget about when questioning Buttigieg's lack of black support. Here's the thing: his total support among ALL minorities is low, it's not just black voters. That demonstrates that the police controversy in South Bend, which, let's be honest, only political junkies really know about, is NOT the reason for his low support among black voters. It's not his so-called lack of experience either, because then he'd have low support among white voters too. It is name ID, plain and simple. That is it. Amy Klobuchar has even lower support among black voters, but do pundits attribute that to some flaw in her personal/political record? No. Because the answer is obvious. No one knows her. Another thing we have to remember is Senators like Warren and Bernie are, at the end of the day, not held responsible for the events in their state. Buttigieg is held responsible for every little thing that goes on in South Bend, and criticized for every single mistake. People forget that. People forget that this is what being the POTUS is about: taking responsibility for your constituents, and dealing with their grievances head on. That is what Buttigieg has done.

  199. @Kevin From the day of his announcement, Buttigieg has, far and away, gotten more press coverage than Klobuchar, not to mention more than almost anyone else save for Biden and Warren. Every time he said something totally uncontroversial (on the left) about Trump, Buttigieg got headlines. Not to mention that he's one of the frontrunners now and has been for a time. More than political junkies know about him. It seems minorities just don't care. As for Klobuchar, she should probably pull the chute as well.

  200. For the sake of the election, Buttigieg should drop out of the race. Buttigieg polls: 1% with African Americans 5% with Latinos 7% Overall Nationally He can't win, he is only hurting Joe Biden. it is time for the democrats to narrow it down to the only candidates that can actually win, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

  201. @PeaceLove I think Pete Buttigieg would make a great president. Voters are just starting to get to know him, and there's a reason why a virtual unknown is in the top 5! He's thoughtful, decent, patriotic, rational and clear-headed and refuses to make over the top promises. I think he would be a consensus- builder and unite our divided country.

  202. @in-the weeds Just starting to know him? It's been nine months. The Iowa caucuses are in a couple of weeks. Judging by the BLM activists following around, as well as judging by his record where race is involved in South Bend, it seems more likely that they know him as well as they want to know him.

  203. @DataCrusader Pete is not known well nationally, but he's been in the top three in Iowa and NH for months where voters are tuned in and like what they see. I can pretty much bet you have not listened to his many town halls and interviews in their entirety. You should try it sometime, and you would understand what many here are saying about him. He's thoughtful, empathetic, patriotic, rational and clear-headed and he refuses to make over the top promises. He would make a great president.

  204. I'm primarily a Sanders supporter, and while I have appreciated Buttigieg, I never have really felt that compelled to support him. But this interview was so far the best that I have seen out of any of the candidates interviewed by NYT. He articulated each of his points extremely well, and he had a really good answer to every question. The McKinsey stuff at the beginning was ridiculous for sure. The question "Do you think that that should be the sole mission of a corporation, though, to maximize profitability?" is a completely absurd question to ask. But after they got over the McKinsey section, I found most of the boards questions to be valid and fruitful. I can't tell if the board was simply friendlier to Pete then they were Bernie, or if Pete was just that much better at diffusing the tension and giving an eloquent response. Pete is a great public speaker. After reading this interview, I don't really see Pete as a centrist candidate. He seems to be right in the middle from Bernie/Warren to Biden. That's a great place to be at the moment I think. I'd still rather have Warren or Bernie, but I would be excited too if the nominee turns out to be Pete after reading this. The Editorial Board has frustrated me quite a few times in these interviews, but overall this has been one of the best formats to truly get to know the candidates, and I thank NYT for putting this together.

  205. @Michael Thank you for posting this. I have been frustrated beyond believe about how some so quickly and easily tag all Democrats that are not Bernie as centrist – and then go the extra mile to imply that is not a legitimate position but tantamount to a complete sell-out to corporatism, a Republican-lite, if you will. I'm pretty far on the left but I can recognize in Buttigieg that his ability to speak to people across the political spectrum in clear, non-loaded language, is a gift, not a token of centrism, debased or otherwise. By the way, Mayor Pete is considerably further left than the most popular living Democrat, twice-elected Barack Obama.

  206. @Drew Emery "I'm pretty far on the left but I can recognize in Buttigieg that his ability to speak to people across the political spectrum in clear, non-loaded language, is a gift, not a token of centrism, debased or otherwise." I fully endorse your reply/comment, and the comment of @Michael. If either were a Times pick, it would be great. From the start, I have been a strong supporter of Mayor Pete. For the record, I voted for prez Obama twice, but I may hold a grudge against him & Michelle Obama, because he beat Hillary Clinton in 2008. I have been an ardent (unabashed, if you will) admirer of Bill Clinton. But since Nov 2016, I'm actually angry at HRC for "giving" us Trump!

  207. I have hedged on throwing support behind a fellow younger than my children, whose political resume is by most measures, save that of the current president, thin. But no one in this campaign seems to have the intellectual grasp of every question that is thrown his or her way and a coherent answer that conveys both a considered thought process and a certain humility to the degree Mr Buttigieg demonstrates one on one. I know several of the columnists described him as rehearsed in the last debate, but this interview should dispel the notion that Buttigieg is faking it. He is carrying a large set of tools with him and is the closest we're going to see to an Obama type candidate this time around. He will clearly fail however, if communities of color can't get behind him.

  208. @Marco It is not difficult to believe that answering the same question for the umpteenth time would make you start sounding rehearsed... Presidential campaigns are long and repetitive.

  209. @Active Germ-line Replicator Trump has somehow managed not to get any more familiar with the issues no matter how many opportunities he’s given.

  210. @Marco He's "No Obama." He's not Obama in that he's short on charisma, but he's superior to Obama in gifts & indefatigability. Obama is a writer, a philosopher. Buttigieg is also a thinker but also very much a doer. If I were given a choice between the two, I would vote for Buttigieg, not because he's white, even when there's no color difference.

  211. The thing I like most about Buttigieg? He answers every question put to him, substantively and thoroughly. I've never seen him pivot or dodge. I've never heard him fall back on a talking point. I've never seen him rely on platitudes. And he never demagogues, ever, an any issue. He's thoughtful, honest, and reserved. In other words, the exact opposite of the current President. So while I've always favored the character and temperament of candidates like Buttigieg, three years of Trump has left me positively hungering for it. Imagine 4 years of a President not shouting at us.

  212. @Revelwoodie "In other words, the exact opposite of the current President." Right! And he can beat president Trump, if they both appear on a debate stage.

  213. There is a scolding tone to this interview, as if parent figures were talking to a young person who had demonstrated poor judgment. This was most apparent to me when McKinsey was discussed. Of the interviews I've read so far, the Andrew Yang interview felt just right in terms of apparent comfort level of the editorial staff and Mr. Yang.

  214. @blgreenie You mean the editorial board was scolding Mr. Buttigieg? I thought their questions about McKinsey bordered on rude. They treated Sanders with kid gloves.

  215. Two things we need to remember: 1. The reason for Buttigieg's lack of black support is not due to his record in South Bend, it is name recognition. His lack of support is concentrated among all minority voters, not just black voters, demonstrating that his problem isn't inherently a problem with black voters. And the idea that black people are scrutinizing his record in South Bend is preposterous. Only political junkies know about the police controversy. His problem is name ID, plain and simple. Amy Klobuchar polls even lower among black voters and the media doesn't scrutinize her for it because the reason is obvious. No one knows her. 2. Senators like Warren and Sanders are not responsible for people. That means they are not criticized for the problems in their state. Buttigieg is held responsible for every issue, every mistake he's made in South Bend. It was a low income, crime-riddled community when he came in. We cannot expect him to fix everything. People need to understand that Mayors, like Presidents, are held responsible for their constituents, and meet with them regularly. The consensus is that Buttigieg did and exemplary job of that. Not perfect, because he is human, but exemplary.

  216. @Kevin Since I'm an admirer of Mayor Pete I appreciate this comment. Thank you.

  217. Pete needs a whole lot more experience before I'd consider him presidential. Maybe try in 12 - 16 years? As it is, I hope he realizes his short comings sooner rather than later and spares us all. Maybe go out and get a job that will help build the type of experience he would need to be a real contender. And besides, he couldn't get a Trump supported to cross over for him to save his life. Really, they are not the type of folks to be as tolerant as one has to be to accept his life choices. A women, maybe, but I doubt a Republican would vote for someone who is gay. Period. Sorry Pete, those are just facts.

  218. @dakine In 2008, we understood that most Republicans wouldn't cross over to vote for a black candidate with the middle name "Hussein," but we nominated him anyway. And we won. Then when that primary came down to Obama vs Hillary Clinton, we went with the bold choice rather than the safe choice. And it worked. In 2016, when it was down to Hillary and Bernie, we went with the safe choice rather than the bold choice. And we lost. It seems that our intuitive understanding of electability doesn't necessarily map on to reality.

  219. @dakine Opinions are seldom facts. Buttigieg does well in the Midwest swing states, which the Democratic nominee needs to win in the general election.

  220. @dakine People who wouldn't vote for him for being gay alone wouldn't vote for a Democrat anyway. Most people don't care about sexuality that way anymore and I mean that statistically.

  221. If Buttigieg had not been groomed by the Global Security Establishment for this candidacy, he would never be in the running for president. As a very young, two term small city mayor, he has nowhere near the experience to be president, despite his well spoken manner and charisma.

  222. @Lucy Cooke I'm sorry, but if the "Global Security Establishment" were to throw their inestimable power behind a specially selected candidate, why would they pick the gay mayor of a small city?

  223. The attitude and approach of some of the New York Times editorial board in this interview has made me realize that one of the things that Mayor Buttigieg is up against is envy. It's impossible to ignore the strong reactions so many people seem to have towards a young, obviously bright and talented man.

  224. @Drew Emery Yes. I've seen this time and again. You're absolutely right. And all things considered, Pete deals with this very well as he's been dealing with it all of his life.

  225. Can we please ditch this nonsense about how young a 37-year-old man is? When Winston Churchill was 37 he was the First Lord of the Admiralty and had previously held the positions of Member of Parliament, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, President of the Board of Trade, and Home Secretary. Pete Buttigieg has been a conference director with the Cohen Group, a policy specialist for the Kerry campaign, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, an adviser to the Truman National Security Project, a Naval officer in Afghanistan, and a two-term mayor tasked with revitalizing a struggling city. A mayor is the CEO of a municipal corporation with charge over multiple agencies. As such, his job has more in common with the executive duties of a president than the job of a member of the House or the Senate. Stop talking about Buttigieg like he's a high school sophomore.

  226. @GFE Churchill did not do to well as the First Lord of the Admiralty. There is a huge difference between being a Mayor and being an effective President. Let him get the experience he and the nation needs.

  227. @GFE , Thanks so much for your comment. Well said and I totally agree.

  228. @John Brown As First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill organized the transformation of the Royal Navy from a coal-based to an oil-based operation, a watershed moment in military and political history. Everything happening now in the Middle East goes back to his arrangement of an oil supply in Iran from the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

  229. Between this interview and the recent obsession about what Bernie and Elizabeth talked about after the debate - which is literally ALL of the news about the debate - I am utterly disgusted. Are we going down another stupid rabbit hole on a presidential election? Did you forget 2016 already?

  230. I would hope he's more than a resume, as he's not even a resume. Is anyone else noticing that Buttigieg consistently responds to challenges with rage? He usually bottles up the response better than his outburst in here, but if you watch his face on a debate stage, it's clear that this is a guy who does not meet adversity with any kind of a level head. I suppose that kind of thing comes with experience for some people. He should come back when he has some.

  231. @DataCrusader I’m gathering by your numerous comments on this post that you are a Sanders (or maybe Yang) supporter. To answer your question, no, we are not noticing because anyone who has been paying attention knows that Pete is measured and calm and provides thoughtful responses to all questions. You should either actually listen to Pete’s various lengthy town halls/interviews in their entirety (which show someone who has given careful thought to the challenges we face as a nation) or you should go spend time uplifting your candidate vs trying and failing to bring down Pete.

  232. @DataCrusader To me he comes across as calm and confident.

  233. @DataCrusader Wow! I read him totally differently. I think he is very slow to anger and comports himself really well when attacked on the debate stage. Not like a few older candidates.

  234. I have been highly impressed by Pete Buttigieg ever since he came on the scene, about a year ago. He's quite practical, sufficiently idealistic and overly ambitious in that "he wants to change the world for the better." His personal ambitions like making a lot of money, enjoying life to the fullest and so on have been rather modest, at least so far. He's a man of enormous self-confidence. Such people may display a touch of arrogance & snobbishness, beyond their instinctive control. From this perspective, he is very much like Bill Clinton & to an extent at least Hillary Clinton. I have been & still am an ardent admirer of the Clintons, despite their more recent embrace of wealth - no one is perfect. Nobody knows what exactly one is made of in the inner core. But of all the candidates appeared on the Democratic Presidential Primary arena for 2020, I want Pete Buttigieg to get the nomination. I firmly believe, barring unforeseen events, he can defeat Donald trump. And I hope he will get the NYT nod. If he doesn't get the nomination, I sincerely hope, the nominee will pick Mayor Pete as their running mate.

  235. I've have a few issues with Pete. I'm 23 and I don't really feel like he addresses issues facing young people well, or resonates with young voters. I'm deeply worried about he lack of experience and if that will translate into an inability to actually his goals. And, as a gay man I've been disappointed by some of the silence around LGBT issues, in particular his not addressing of issues facing Trans people in this country.

  236. @Jordan please visit his website and take the time to listen to his many town halls and lengthy interviews in their entirety...I think you will find that he is addressing all of your concerns comprehensively.

  237. As a far more senior citizen I think the interviewers were almost universally UNFAIR to Mr Buttigeig. The implication with all the talk about McKinsey, his supposed lack of following among people of color and failure to ask as a much younger candidate why his youth and excitement for new roads in government might bring those of us over 60 HOPE. You missed out on asking this at all. I think the board has pre-judged Mr Buttigeig and found him lacking whereas many of us are tired of OLD people older than we are making all the decisions. Age is not the only criteria for good judgment.

  238. @Franklin Experience counts more than anything else in Politics. Pete needs far more experiences as a Governor/Senator before he becomes President. He needs to make alliances across the country and come to understand how unwieldy the Federal Government actually is.

  239. @John Brown Couldn't disagree with you more. Intelligence and Political Savvy, far more important. No one has the experience of being president, until they do. Being a senator or a congressperson is NOTHING at all like being the president. Mayor and Governor are executive positions like President. I'd take Pete's experience running a problem ridden city alone over a lot of governors experience who don't deal with the same level of grit. Much less some legislator. Think about it. Someone with his intelligence who's gotten this far, despite all the factions coming out against him, has noted every mistake Obama made and learned from every one and then some. He'd have his pick of the best staff and cabinet available. And be smart enough to hear every opinion out there before making big decisions.

  240. @Ross Ivanhoe You could not be more wrong: JFK was a failure as a President, charming, but a failure because he had so few connections in Congress, he found being a a member of the House to be boring and being in the Senate rather dull. Carter was a failure because he never served in Congress, he had few friends on Capital Hill when he arrived and fewer when left. Obama did not know how to wheel and deal and the results he produced as president while helpful were far, far, far less than what he should and could have done. Being President is not a learn as you go type job that is what leads to disasters.

  241. I like Mayor Pete. Perhaps even more as Vice President. Too young and too inexperienced to be President. Let him either go to Washington D.C. as VP or a Senator so he can learn how D.C. works and make friends among the members of Congress. Otherwise you have another Carter/Obama - they meant well but they did not have a deep enough understanding of how Congress and the Federal Government actually worked and thus they were not as effective as they should have been. The Electoral College is the genius of the Constitution and is what has allowed us to remain the Republic of the United States of America. A productive change would be to award the Electoral Vote to the winner of the Popular vote in each Congressional District and then the State's Two Electoral Votes to the winner of the Overall Popular Vote in each State. Thus the various States have their distinct input and the voters in each Congressional District have their voices heard. We don't need more Supreme Court Justices, we do need the 9th Circuit to be broken up into three smaller districts. Why does one District, the 9th, compose States that add up to 1/4th of the US Population as a whole. Yes, Term Limit for Federal Judges and Congressmen. Immigration Reform, but please ask those seeking asylum why they are applying for it in the US of A and not Canada, or Chile, or England or Spain ?

  242. @John Brown Indiana is too red for him to be elected senator. He's hit the ceiling in his state or I'm sure he would be trying to get more state-level experience

  243. I find Pete Buttigieg to be intelligent, thoughtful and insightful. He listens to what people say and learns from them. He is responsible and will ‘own’ his mistakes. His empathy for others sets him above the rest of the candidates who say they care, but in reality are only out for their own gain. His Douglass plan goes beyond what other candidates have proposed. His military service makes him well qualified to take on the role of Commander in Chief. Even though he is the youngest person on the debate stage, he often seems like then only adult in the room. His comments about belonging and unity give me hope for the future of our country.

  244. This country needs a leader that brings integrity, common sense, intelligence, and energy to bring in the next era. This person is Pete. I am 70 and believe that the other candidates are too old for what it takes. If you ask about experience ask how much experience our current president has :zero. Pete has 8 years leading a city make incredible progress. This is experience that really matters.

  245. Hearing Pete for the first time was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a democratic candidate for president standing up to the religious right and said God is not a member of a political party and they do not own the message. Then I heard about his criminal justice and racial equity plans, and again I was very impressed. Pete has a comprehensive plan to bring our nation back on a path to showing the world we are nation of values and want to see all Americans succeed. No matter your ethnic background, age, gender, ability or disability, Pete wants to be your president.