Pete and Chasten Buttigieg and Jill Biden.
Chasten Buttigieg and Dr. Jill Biden bonded on the campaign trail.
Matt Rourke/AP, Carolyn Kaster/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On a June 4 episode of the "Betches Sup Podcast: Afternoon Tea," Chasten Buttigieg discussed his friendship with Dr. Jill Biden – and the fact he still finds her a bit intimidating.

Buttigieg, who is married to US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, told host Sami Sage that he was surprised by Biden's warmth when he met her backstage at the first Democratic Party presidential debate.

"She leapt out of her chair and gave me a hug and said hello and welcomed me into the arena, and it was very nice," he said. "And [Kamala Harris' husband] Doug [Emhoff] was seated next to her and he stood up and shook my hand and said it was nice to meet me, and I just remember thinking, 'Wow, that is not how I thought this was going to go at all.'"

chasten buttigieg doug emhoff
From left to right: Nevada's first lady Kathy Sisolak, Gov. Steve Sisolak, Chasten Buttigieg, Rep. Dina Titus, Jill Biden, and Doug Emhoff at Las Vegas pride in October 2019.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign

Biden and Buttigieg also bonded during the campaign over their love of teaching. Buttigieg taught humanities and drama before leaving the classroom to support his husband's candidacy, and Biden has taught English at Northern Virginia Community College since 2009.

"It was the thing that we had in common and it was very easy to connect," Buttigieg said. "Understandably she's a little busy now, but it was always lovely running into her on the campaign trail. Her and Doug – they were both just genuine people. We could just talk about family and our partners backstage at events and it never felt artificial, it didn't feel forced. That was a very easy thing to start a friendship with, was 'Oh, we both share this love of teaching.'"

Even so, Buttigieg said that he still feels a bit nervous in the first lady's commanding presence.

"She just kind of radiates love and leadership," Buttigieg said. "She's kind of one of those people in the room where you're like 'OK, Jill Biden's in the room.' But it's not in an off-putting way. It's very similar to Michelle Obama where you're like, 'I'm a little intimidated by you, but I would also like to be your friend.'"

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