“Can I help you with something?” asks a concerned staff member as someone resembling a small but well-dressed first year opens the doors to the IOP. “Actually,” the mysterious person replies, “You can. I’d like to relocate the spirit of America and bring it back to Washington.”
While annoying, this was a pretty standard response from any first-year who used to be class president, so the staff member thought nothing of it and went back to work. “Do you want to maybe, like, take a picture with me? I might be president one day, you know.” At this point, the IOP staffer was getting annoyed. She had missed her morning coffee and did not want to deal with this person who looked like a slightly watered-down Tracey Flick. She informed him that once he was old enough to vote and tall enough to get on every ride at Six Flags, she’d reconsider the photo-op.
With that, a confused and understandably hurt Pete Buttigieg turned away. What was he doing wrong, he wondered? Why didn’t people recognize him? As far as he could tell, he was doing everything right. In his effort to appeal to every voter, he had established literally no platform. What was he missing? At that point, his thoughts were interrupted as a visibly distressed student wearing a backpack twice the size of his body bumped into him.
“Hey, can you help me?” the boy asked breathlessly. “Why, yes,” said Mayor Pete instantly regaining his composure “I believe I can. You see,” he continued “Whether you’d prefer your help to come from inefficient bureaucratic agencies or Satanic corporate entities, there is a place for you in my America.”
“Ok… that’s cool, but I’m kind of just having trouble finding my way around. It’s only my third week here and I’m kind of lost,” the kid replied.
“Ah, yes,” said Mayor Pete wistfully. “I myself have been told by many faith-based voters that I am lost or straying from God’s path because of my sexuality. When people think you’re lost, and you yourself start believing it, you must remember that God loves all of his children.”
“Hey, man, that’s cool and all, but I’m running late, so I’m gonna head out now.” And with that Mayor Pete was left alone again to contemplate his anonymity and youthful appearance. He had thought that being 37 and having no experience in national politics could only benefit him, but now he wasn’t so sure. It didn’t help that he was already feeling insecure about how someone tweeted a pic of his face next to Judy Hopps from Zootopia while commenting on his poor record on police brutality. He wasn’t sure which was worse – police brutality or the fact that his husband Chasten had conceded that there was some resemblance.
Suddenly a voice from behind him asked, “so how are you enjoying your first three weeks at the college?” Mayor Pete turned around to stare right into the face of David Axelrod, who immediately apologized and said, “ah, Mayor Pete! I’m so sorry! Let me get you up to the stage!” At that point, Mayor Pete was so happy to be recognized – as most people from South Bend, Indiana are in the rare instance that they are recognized outside of South Bend, Indiana — that he couldn’t even be offended. And with that, Mayor Pete was warmly welcomed to the University of Chicago’s prestigious Institute of Politics.