Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg fawned over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at an event over the weekend, saying he felt “humbled” to be called a “trailblazer” while sitting next to her.
The two failed Democratic presidential candidates appeared together on stage Saturday at the Clinton Global Initiative University’s annual meeting at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and discussed Buttigieg’s decision to come out as gay while serving in the military amid its then-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“When you read about your biography, your accomplishments, you’re often described as a trailblazer. You are the first openly gay cabinet member, you’re the youngest person to ever hold the office of Secretary of Transportation, you’re one of the youngest people to make a serious bid for the presidency, so there’s no doubt that along the way being the first often requires knocking down some barriers, some misconceptions,” Clinton said of Buttigieg.
She went on to call him “courageous” for his decision to come out, and asked him what he would tell others grappling with the same situation.
“Yeah, I mean, again, I’m humbled to have a word like ‘trailblazer’ used when I’m sitting next to you and knowing all the cracks you put in that glass ceiling,” Buttigieg responded.
“But I am mindful of how things changed for me when I was able to come forward and realize that it was time to be who I was and let the consequences be what they might,” he added, before going on to detail his decision.
Clinton was the first woman in U.S. history to be nominated as the presidential nominee for a major political party, but ultimately lost to former President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. She also lost to former President Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.
Buttigieg was serving as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana when he decided to toss his hat into the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, becoming the first openly gay presidential candidate. He ultimately dropped out of the race after losing a number of primary contests, before ultimately becoming the first openly gay cabinet member.