Sound Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a taste of life as a New Yorker on Wednesday afternoon: he was stuck in mid-day traffic as he raced to LaGuardia Community College.
As the presidential candidate addressed a packed audience in Long Island City, more political drama unfolded in the nation's capital. And with renewed calls by many high-profile Democrats for President Donald Trump's impeachment, Buttigieg said there's a case to be made for Trump's removal.
"I think it's been clear for some time … that this president deserved to be impeached," Buttigieg said. "We have a president who is flouting legitimate investigative requests, instructing people to defy subpoenas."
The "Presidential Fireside Chat" is one of a series of forums that Democratic candidates will attend at public colleges only in Queens, at the invitation of Rep. Gregory Meeks, the head of the Queens County Democrats.
Buttigieg's appearance comes just days after the city's hometown mayor, Bill de Blasio, tossed his hat in the crowded field.
"I do think it's a good time for mayors to be stepping up," Buttigieg said. "This is the most diverse presidential field ever and I'm proud to be a part of that. So the more, the merrier."
This comes as a new Quinnipiac poll shows both mayors in the single digits for Democratic voters' top choice for president.
"The polls were very important when they had me doing well," the mayor from Indiana said. "What's compelling to us is … that we've managed to emerge in many of these measures substantially ahead of people who are much more famous, people who have been at this much longer."
Just 12 hours before Buttigieg's visit, New Yorkers were out in force, holding pro-choice demonstrations, something the mayor applauds.
"Whenever somebody's freedom," Buttigieg told me. "is being suppressed, you never know if you are going to be next."
Buttigieg says, if elected, he would like to increase the number of judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, and he says he wants to eliminate the Electoral College altogether.
The feisty mayor of South Bend, Indiana — population 102,000 — seemed right at home in a city of 8.5 million people.