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“I’m sitting at a table in the corner of the NoMad Hotel’s Library café, the din of its patrons’ conversations at odds with the two-level library setting. On the other side of the table sits the man who could become America’s first openly gay president, if he’s elected. With hollowed-out vowels and never-fried vocals, he reminds me of a news anchor — authoritative and calm with an accent that betrays no particular region except all the ones it’s not.
“Success to me, in terms of equality, would look like a world where it’s not newsworthy [to be gay and running for president],” says Pete Buttigieg, who launched an exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination in January. “But I also get that it is, and I understand the importance and the sort of historic quality that could be attached to this and all that change that it represents.”
Buttigieg, pronounced “BOO-da-judge,” has kept a relatively lower profile than his better known Democratic contenders, though not for lack of trying. Two days before he met me in New York, he’d hosted a town hall in New Hampshire, an early primary state. As a spokesperson told me, he had plenty of press scheduled after our interview along with an event at the Brooklyn Public Library that evening promoting his new memoir, Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."