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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
"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."
"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."
"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"
"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."
"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."
"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."
"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."
"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"
"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."
"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."
""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."
" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."