Amazon’s Documentary Covers the Openly Gay Democrat’s Doomed 2020 Presidential run.
DIRECTED BY JESSE MOSS/2021
The problem with making a documentary about the 2020 Presidential election is it that it must go deep. Since this was the election that was our one shot to remove a conspiracy theory fascist, it was heavily scrutinized as it happened. With 24/7 news constantly reporting information, a documentary has to reveal something new.
I remember when Pete Buttigieg first announced his campaign. I thought it was important for an openly gay person to run. But soon after, the direction of his campaign became problematic to say the least. Having the election fresh in our minds, if a film cuts corners to make things appear as they weren’t, most people who would be interested in this documentary will also be the ones to call b.s. The first big impression Buttigieg made on me was at the first presidential debate… which this doc all but skips. According to Mayor Pete, he made an impact on voters with his first townhall. Which may be true to some, but his polls soared after the first debate.
Did Buttigieg rise to the top of the polling because he was an honest, open person and a breath of fresh air for people looking for change? This doc would say yes, but reality would say no. In truth, Buttigieg rose to the top by trying to lock in the centrist, rightwing vote. He wanted you to know he was for change, but not that much differently fiscally than Trump. Hell, he made sure to go on Shapiro’s trash show to let voters know. Why is someone going on Shapiro during a primary where no one who listens to that show votes Democrat? Either to get Republicans to cross over and vote for him in non-registered states or to get listeners who hate his sexuality to like him. I can’t decide which is more cynical.
During the early debates, Bernie and Warren had the left secured – Bernie because of his loyal base and Warren because she was easily the best debater. In the centrist lane, Biden constantly stumbled around verbally and acted confused; Beto just came off as lethargic; Klobuchar was just meh – so Pete saw his shot. First debate, he kept responding ad nauseum to all of Warren’s ideas with the Republican mantra, “How are we going to pay for that? “How are we going to pay for that?” Thus, proving that the conservatives in America can propose building a moat full of alligators around the country to keep brown immigrants out, and their voters say, “Boy, this guy speaks the truth!”, but the moment a Democrat politician proposes a system remotely similar to more successful European countries, the Buttigiegs of the world need to enter and act like the wise elders telling us to be realistic. I remember wondering, “Did this guy go from mayor to presidential candidate just to say no to every idea?”
Yet, to be super nice to this documentary, I’ll go so far as to forgive what the movie is not showing us, and just judge what the movie is showing us.
In Mayor Pete, we’re shown a candidate who seems to be still at conflict with his sexuality, which causes his husband, on camera, to call him out for making comments that are akin to suicide. When it suits his campaign, his sexuality plays as irrelevant, with him asking to be judged on his merit and policies alone (which is fair). But at times, like when he badly mishandles a police shooting of an African American, his sexuality is always in his back pocket and ready to be pulled out when criticized as a reminder that he’s a minority as well. Why is that suddenly relevant? Can’t we just judge you on your actions and policies?
Speaking of the shooting, since Buttigieg is a very reserved person and the doc makes little effort to scrutinize his ideas besides how they play in context to his campaign, the aftermath of this horrific shooting immediately comes in play only as how is he going to address it in debates. Leading to one moment that was sickening, where he makes a black female staff worker debate him in a mock staging just so he can answer better when it’s brought up. Another advisor tells him he sounds low energy and to be more emotional. As someone who is watching to learn more about him and not how his campaign is going to go, I found that whole moment distasteful and reprehensible.
Is Buttigieg a skilled politician? Kinda. He’s opportunistic which seems to be a euphemism for skilled. In terms of being able to win, I think he has ability. Since his career has only further trajected into the White House, I have a suspicion he may someday be President. Which gives me a truly uneasy feeling that is only compounded with the uneasiness of knowing that when the Republicans run whichever newfound incarnation of Caligula they come up with, I’ll surely vote for him.