Pete Buttigieg Stands in for Pence as Kamala Harris Preps for Debate

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday September 24, 2020

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg  (Source:Associated Press)

Openly gay former presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is playing the part of Mike Pence as vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris prepares to debate Pence, Bloomberg reports.

Buttigieg, formerly the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, reportedly serves in the capacity of a Pence stand-in because of his familiarity with the vice president, whose term as governor of Indiana overlapped with Buttigieg's time in the mayor's office.

Harris was also in the running for the Democratic nominee in this year's election and made an impression in debates with other Democratic hopefuls.

While many are expecting Harris to unleash the kinds of zingers on Pence that she doled out to other Democratic hopefuls - including Joe Biden, who ultimately became the party's nominee in the race against incumbent President Donald Trump - Harris herself has not appeared overconfident, sounding a note of caution in comments she made at a fundraising event on Sept. 21.

Calling Pence "a good debater," Harris said, "I'm so concerned, like I can only disappoint," Bloomberg reported.

As for Buttigieg, the former mayor proved capable of standing up to Pence while on the campaign trail. Taking on Pence's reputation as a longtime foe of LGBTQ equality and religious conservative, Buttigieg in 2019 dismissed the notion that gay people "choose" not to be heterosexual, Bloomberg recalled.

"And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand," Buttigieg went on to say. "That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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