I would have said “Eddie Munster” to emphasize his tender age, but Trump’s right that Buttigieg bears more of a resemblance to AEN. For the Eddie comparison to work, he’d really need a widow’s peak.
Besides, POTUS is probably saving “Eddie Munster” for when Paul Ryan eventually says something critical of him. Assuming he ever does.
The funniest part of this dig is that, per Politico’s transcript, it was a true one-liner. Trump didn’t riff his way into it or offer it in passing as part of longer remarks about Buttigieg’s chances. This was the sum total of what he had to say about Mayor Pete:
POLITICO: What do you think about [South Bend Mayor] Pete Buttigieg? I know you mentioned him once in your rally, but do you think he’s a threat in any way?
TRUMP: Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States.
And that was it. On to the next topic. Reminds me of one of my favorite Trump stories:
During a Republican retreat at Camp David last year, President Trump seemed particularly enthralled as Gary Cohn, then his chief economic adviser, delivered a briefing on infrastructure. The president impressed the assembled lawmakers with his apparent interest in the presentation, nodding along and scribbling furious notes.
But Trump’s notes “had nothing to do with infrastructure,” journalists Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write in their new book, “The Hill to Die On.”
Instead, Trump had scrawled “Sloppy Steve” atop his index card, followed by “copious notes” criticizing Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist whom he had fired several months earlier.
I like to imagine him workshopping putdowns for Buttigieg on a yellow pad while Bolton and Pompeo were pitching him on invading Venezuela. A person close to Trump told Politico of his interest in sobriquets, “Low energy Jeb, Little Marco, that kind of sh** really diminishes people and puts you in control of them and that’s what Trump is a genius for doing. Everything in Trump’s world is about dominance and submission and so he’s trying to figure out how to own these candidates.” I’m curious to see whether the left borrows the Alfred E. Neuman thing to ridicule Buttigieg if he continues to dig into Bernie’s vote share. Trump has a knack for getting people to play at his level; it’d be ironic if progressive ideologues, who consider him beneath contempt for a thousand different reasons, were willing to endorse his childish shot at this guy to score a point on him.
If anything, Trump’s jab might be too weak for them. The far-left kiddies manning 88-year-old Mike Gravel’s campaign are throwing only uppercuts at Buttigieg:
Sen. Gravel on Pete Buttigieg and LGBTQ+ rights pic.twitter.com/pOQz0uTkT1
— Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) May 10, 2019
Here’s Mayor Pete jabbing back at Trump with a dig about how old he is. Exit quotation from Mad magazine: “Who’s Pete Buttigieg? Must be a generational thing.” It kind of is!
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) May 11, 2019