“When Pete Buttigieg arrived in England,” begins an NPR article about the presidential candidate, “he was a curious, bookish 23-year-old known to his friends as Peter.”
You may call me a stickler — and god knows I’ve railed against Buttigieg’s vacuous political brand enough that you might already see where I’m going with this — but when you’re 23 years of age, a full-grown adult, in the Western culture we have right now, the time for adopting a shorter version of your name has passed.
Buttigieg was Peter then, and he’s Peter now, not Pete. I don’t care what the campaign merch says, PETER.
The faux-affectionate nickname, which he seems to have picked up in his years as mayor of South Bend, Indiana (“Mayor Peter” is just a trainwreck, and the last name has some problems of its own, as any schoolkid would love to point out), sounds trim and and upbeat, with none of the fussiness of the full name. Pete! He’s a guy! No big deal! Put him in charge!
But it is, again, a lie.
He was Peter as a kid, and he wrote in the Harvard Crimson under the insufferably pretentious byline “Peter P.M. Buttigieg.” That alone should cost him the “Pete” card for life. Initials for your two middle names? We know who you are, buddy.
Oh yeah, Bloomberg, don’t worry. I see your wrinkly, sneaky old ass too. You’re not fooling anyone with this “Mike” shit.
I lived in New York when you were mayor, and when I voted against your bogus third term, I voted against Michael Bloomberg. Said it right there on the ballot. If ever want to call a desiccated piece of shrimp jerky in a suit like you by an endearing diminutive, it’ll be “Peewee.”
Don’t think for a second that paying a few Instagram accounts $20K a pop for memes that refer to you as Mike is going to fool anyone, MICHAEL.
If Biden is a Joe, Warren is a Liz and Sanders is a Bernie, it’s because people actually like them. Where the fuck do you get off pretending you even have friends?
Whatever, guys. Have fun running around the country before Super Tuesday, shaking hands with randos and saying, like, “Hello, it’s me, Pete,” and “Greetings, I’m called, uhhhh, Mike. Please vote for me, the Mike.” Really convincing.
I want to say we’d respect you more for being the uptight freaks you are and letting the formal first names do their job. But who am I kidding, the “minimum of respect” ship sailed long ago. God, I can’t wait for you both to drop out and quit faking charisma by selling us these phony cognomens.
Look on the bright side, though. At least you didn’t attempt this move: