South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg is a polyglot who can speak seven languages, and now we can add an eighth to his already impressive resume.
When a deaf supporter created the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for Pete Buttigieg in a video, the Democratic presidential candidate responded in sign language to express his gratitude.
Mayor Pete's charm and intelligence knows no bounds.
Anderson Pleasants, who describes himself as deaf and hard of hearing on his Twitter profile, posted his demonstration of the ASL sign he came up with for Buttigieg, inspired by Buttigieg's campaign logo evocative of a bridge.
"Given his new logo has the imagery of a bridge and 'build bridges, not walls",' his sign name is P 'bridged' across the chest to B!"
Buttigieg thanked Pleasants for his thoughtful gesture a week later and responded with a hand-wave emoji and a special message in ASL.
Daily Beast reporter Scott Bixby translated Buttigieg's message:
"Hi Andy — thank you for your support, thanks."
Pleasants even created a sign for Buttigieg's husband, Chasten.
Upon receiving the mayor's heartfelt message, Pleasants said he teared up.
"It means so much to see a major Presidential candidate actively reach across the communication divide to include those like me, especially in a society where the burden of that divide so often rests on the Deaf individual."
"Keep signing the sign & walking the walk!"
The general consensus is that Buttigieg is compassionate and inspiring.
High marks were given from someone who understands ASL.
And Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin weighed in as well with kudos for Pete reaching out to the deaf community.
As did America's Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars winner Nyle DiMarco.
The youngest person in the Democratic race last impressed people with his language skills when he expressed his condolences and solidarity with the people of Paris for the Notre Dame cathedral fire.
In French, Buttigieg told a French reporter:
"To the people of France, I would like to say that Notre Dame Cathedral was like a gift to the human race. We share in the pain but we also thank you for this gift to civilization."
The "millennial candidate" is proficient in seven languages, including Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari and French.
He was likely inspired to learn multiple language from his linguist mother, Jennifer Anne Montgomery, who was a professor at Notre Dame for 30 years, according to Heavy.
Buttigieg also taught himself Norwegian so that he could learn to read more books from his favorite Norwegian novelist, Erlend Loe.
His intentional multilingualism and willingness to communicate with different demographics and marginalized communities shows that this 2020 presidential candidate is well-versed at speaking from the heart.
You can learn ASL too. Check out this handy spiral-bound guide to American Sign Language. Be like Pete!