PLEASE CLAP 2.0: Pete Buttigieg Asks Silent Iowa Crowd to Applaud
Pete Buttigieg appeared to be taking a page from Jeb Bush’s 2016 Presidential campaign on Tuesday, resorting to asking members of a silent Iowa crowd to “come on” when they declined to respond to his campaign talking points with enthusiasm.
Video of the cringeworthy interaction is sure to elicit comparison to Bush’s “please clap” moment.
It’s unclear if Mayor Pete’s seemingly disinterested audience realized they were intended to applaud at the moment Buttigieg finished rattling off his prepackaged set of vague inspirational talking points. After being spurred by Buttigieg, they did meet the cue, however.
Buttigieg has stalled in recent weeks, as the once golden boy has drawn criticism for his comfortable relationships with billionaire oligarchs and the political elite. In particular, Buttigieg has been blasted for hosting a tasteless fundraiser in a billionaire-owned California “wine cave.”
Mayor Pete does still poll strongly in Iowa, and his weakness with Black voters makes it imperative that he finish with a first or second place finish in the February caucuses. Buttigieg has also lost some support to Mike Bloomberg, making it clear that at least some of his core constituency in the primary are susceptible to being bought off by a deluge of propaganda unmatched in modern American political history.
Judging from the lukewarm response of Iowa voters to his focus-group tested schpiel, reciting scripted talking points in an attempt to become the next Obama won’t quite cut it.
His campaign may go down in history as a more impressive showing than that of Jeb Bush’s flop, but his request for campaign speech applause may suggest that his message isn’t all that different.