Andrew Yang shocked a multitude of viewers during his opening speech in the debate last night by pledging to give ten random families $1,000 per month for a year--a sum totaling $120,000--as a pilot of his idea of a universal income, but none were more shocked than Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana was slated to give his opening speech immediately following Yang, and he had only seconds to think of some way he could follow the surprise declaration. He desperately dug around in his pockets, flinging lint, old receipts, and wads of chewed gum wrapped in Taco Bell napkins to and fro without regard for Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders to either side, who could only attempt to shield themselves from the pocketed potpourri peppering.
Finally, just as the moderators were calling his name, Buttigieg hit paydirt: $52.14 in cash. There were a few awkward seconds as he did some quick math, smiled, and thought, Pete, you wiley wizard, you’ve done it again, but he regained his composure and delivered his one-up punch to Yang’s speech: immediately following the debate, he would give $4.74 of his own hard earned cash to the first eleven people--not ten, but eleven--who met him on the curb outside the Houston event center.
Needless to say, the crowd went wild, and Buttigieg’s promise overshadowed the rest of the debate that night and continues to dominate the news cycle this morning. If he succeeds in his run at the presidency in 2020, we’ll likely all look back at this moment that changed the entire race for the White House.
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