‘Mayor Pete’ review: Amazon’s documentary goes behind the scenes of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign

Looking for to end up being the very first mayor to finish straight to the White Home, Buttigieg constantly seemed running for nationwide attention and some intermediate position, offered the difficulties that the mayor of South Bend would deal with winning a statewide race in deep-red Indiana. Yet his long-shot project caught the creativity of lots of and triggered quick flickers of hope that he might really go the range.

Directed by Jesse Moss, “Mayor Pete” captures all of that, including Buttigieg’s status as gay man and his decision to openly discuss that, as he says, “without it swallowing who I was and what our campaign was about.”

Still, Buttigieg speaks in such perfect sound bites that it’s difficult even in these casual moments to penetrate those barriers. As a consequence, some of the most telling insights coming from his husband, Chasten Buttigieg — who recalls that “Nobody was out” when he was in high school — and project communications director Lis Smith, who peppers her dialogue with expletives as she bluntly lectures the candidate for being too clinical in answering questions that call for displays of passion or emotion.

For all that, some of the behind-the-curtain glimpses are fascinating, from a friendly exchange with Joe Biden, his current boss, as the two run across each other on the trail to the strategizing with staff, from messaging to debate prep.

“It’s not even a debate,” Buttigieg corrects them at one point. “It’s a media opportunity.”

The filmmakers also catch the group briefly (and comically) stranded in an elevator, dealing with a crisis involving a police shooting in South Bend and at the moment when Buttigieg accepts that his improbable pursuit of the Oval Office has reached its end.

“That’s how you end a presidential campaign,” he states, with a tilt toward the camera, before opting to endorse Biden.

Currently serving as Secretary of Transportation at the ripe old age of 39, Buttigieg clearly has plenty of runway ahead of him in terms of pursuing future political ambitions.

Depending on where that leads, “Mayor Pete” is perhaps most significant as a snapshot of a very specific minute, and possibly a plan for the journey to come.

“Mayor Pete” premieres Nov. 12 on Amazon.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.