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Pete Buttigieg Talks Gross Minivans, His 1st Date With Chasten, & More

Pete Buttigieg and Drew Barrymore

The Transportation secretary had a wide-ranging conversation with Drew Barrymore ... from the back of a minivan.


A fan of all forms of transportation, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke this week at the opening of the long-awaited Metro Silver Line Extension in Washington, D.C., which connects the nation's capital with Dulles International Airport. Aside from that, he's been riding a bicycle (his only mode of transportation if he had to choose one) to work, much to the dismay of his security detail. In addition, he's been spearheading a new airline accountability initiative, and recently he's been exploring New York City with a Drewber.

A Drewber is what Drew Barrymore calls a ride-share segment on her eponymous daytime talk show when she interviews celebrities in the backseat of a car. Buttigieg did not disappoint in this episode.

He and the out talk show host immediately agreed on one of the parental lives' greatest pleasures: the minivan.

From the back of a Toyota Sienna, Barrymore asked Buttigieg whether it was true that he and his husband, Chasten, bought a minivan, and upon learning that it was true, she exclaimed, "I love my minivan!"

"Once you have a door that opens this way," she said, gesturing in a sliding door motion.

"Oh, you never go back," Buttigieg interjected. "Becoming dads just changed our whole outlook on cars."

He explained how the couple plops twin toddlers Gus and Penelope, "one in each bucket seat," adding, "stroller in the back. It's great!"

As many a parent on the go will appreciate, the Transportation secretary admitted that the Buttigieg minivan has an average amount of grossness within it.

"There's today's coffee. There's yesterday's coffee. And then there's the science experiment," he said with a grin. "And that's just the stuff that the adults are responsible for."

On a more serious front, Barrymore and Buttigieg discussed the expression being "on the wrong side of the tracks."

"Part of what good transportation can do," Buttigieg said, "is get you across some of those barriers so that your chances in life don't depend on what block you happen to live on."

Barrymore also wanted to know how to find love in today's world of dating apps since Buttigieg and Chasten met that way.

"It worked really well for me," Buttigieg said. "I had just come out, and one of the first people that I really connected with was Chasten."

He explained that the pair met for a first date that was supposed to be coffee, leading Barrymore to rib the serious politician a bit.

"So you were like, 'Let's be serious and mature and have a coffee,'" she said.

"I knew what would come next, which is if it was going well, I brought tickets to the baseball game, and so I had a couple tickets in my pocket," Buttigieg recalled.

He said that at some point in the conversation, he knew the two were clicking and that he wanted to learn more about Chasten, and that led to his pulling out the tickets.

A few weeks later, Buttigieg said, he knew he was in love.

Barrymore also got Buttigieg to admit to eating pizza in any form, warm or cold, at all hours of the night, and, like many people who stand in front of the refrigerator pondering snacks, Buttigieg says he feels strongly about cheese as well.

Additionally, dryer balls offend the secretary of Transportation's sensibilities.

"Why?" he pleaded. "Why? They get -- your sleeve gets all twisted up in the thing and," he trailed off. "I don't understand what they do. I don't understand what problem they solve."

He added that the Buttigieg household does use them because Chasten is a fan.

"I'm sorry, what was the actual question?" Buttigieg asked.

Buttigieg says that one green step people can take to battle climate change is using innovative technology to regulate home environments.

"They're making thermostats that are smarter and smarter," he said. In addition, one of the things the Inflation Reduction Act, passed recently, does is make it more affordable to invest in energy-saving home upgrades.

On whether Buttigieg would run for president again, the Rhodes Scholar played coy, turning his head as if to ask, "Who, me?"

"I don't know. I really don't know. I'm 40. We'll see. Honestly, I don't know," he said.

Buttigieg said that running for office isn't a prize to win; rather, he said it's a chance to do something. "One of the best ways to make a difference is to be in public office, but it's definitely not the only one," he said.

Having reached his destination, Barrymore bid the transportation secretary adieu.

Watch the hilarious segment from The Drew Barrymore Show below.

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