The Biden administration is sending Pete & Chasten Buttigieg to the Invictus Games

For weeks now, every Invictus Games-related social media post has been flooded by anti-Sussex curmudgeons accusing Prince Harry and Meghan of, like, profiting from the games or trying to get attention because of the games or disrespecting the Queen with the games. Invictus’s social media account even sent out a general statement telling haters to chill the f–k out. My guess is that there is some kind of organized hate campaign attempting to toxify the Invictus Games to the point where “everyone” will believe there’s something wrong with Invictus or something wrong with supporting Invictus. It’s bizarre. Anyway, the Biden administration has announced their delegation to Invictus. I hoped that Dr. Jill Biden would head up the delegation, but no – Pete and Chasten Buttigieg are heading up the American delegation:

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will travel to the Netherlands this week to lead a presidential delegation to the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for wounded veterans, U.S. officials said.

Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, will be at The Hague for the event, which Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are also attending. The secretary will be in attendance for the opening ceremony and speak at a welcome event for the U.S. team.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Donald Remy will join the U.S. delegation, along with Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones and Rory Brosius, who runs the White House’s Joining Forces program to support military families.

Duckworth, who was a captain in the Army National Guard, lost both of her legs and partial use of her right arm when her helicopter was shot down over Iraq in 2004.

Buttigieg is expected to return to the U.S. after the games open Saturday. He will make one transportation-related stop in the Netherlands: Officials said he will visit the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest seaport, on the North Sea.

[From NBC News]

I’m not trying to cause trouble, but I really do wonder why the First Lady isn’t going. The Bidens attended the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017, as did Barack Obama. And that was just in their capacity as ex-public officials. The Trump administration sent Melania to the Toronto games, remember? It feels like a significant decline in support to send Secretary Buttigieg and his husband!

In happier news, the Ukrainian Invictus team arrived at The Hague!

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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99 Responses to “The Biden administration is sending Pete & Chasten Buttigieg to the Invictus Games”

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  1. Izzy says:

    This one kind of pisses me off. The First Lady should be attending, and not Secretary Pete. He needs to be here at home, dealing with our infrastructure and supply chain issues. We still have huge backlogs of ships waiting to unload at the Port of Los Angeles, and merchandise that is months behind scheduled delivery because of it, and the Dept of Transportation is constantly Tweeting about how our supply chain is up and running and strong again. I am hearing daily from patients who need hypertonic saline for inhalation therapy but can’t get it because it’s in shortage, and they are exchanging recipes on how to make their own now, which is very dangerous because it needs to be sterile. He needs to focus on the work at home. Send someone else to Invictus Games. I get that he was in the military. But he’s got a different job now and we desperately need him to crack the whip on it.

    • Chelsea says:

      One of the initial reports said Pete will likely only be there for the weekend for the opening ceremony and to see a couple events and visit a dutch infrastructure project and head back so i dont think he will miss much. It’s not uncommon for these department secretaries to be sent out diplomatic trips and this is just his second since he assumed the role, but i totally hear you.

    • Petra says:

      @Izzy, I hope you’re pissed off enough to write your representatives. Texas and its Governor is an example of the shit happening to the supply chain. Goods are held up at the US-Mexico border courtesy of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. This is just one example of the games that are been played. It saddest me the national media is not reporting on this.

      • ElleE says:

        Gov.Abbott has implemented Required security checks for every single truck that enters the US from Mexico. Up to last week a truck would show up the Mexican driver would get off, an American driver would get on and keep going. Mexico is our largest trading partner and an incredible amount of goods come over the border that way.

        Every. Single. Truck. From. Mexico. Is . Being. Stopped and Searched. It is crippling the US supply chain and I guess he is doing it To drive up inflation because that’s supposed to help Republicans in the midterms(that is one explaination).

    • Nyro says:

      The White House Easter Egg Roll is one of the biggest events on the WH social calendar. Children from all over the city get invited and it’s a huge deal. This is the first one since covid. No way could Jill miss that and I doubt the Sussexes would expect her to. Let’s not act like royalist stans who think the world revolves around their queen and the rest of the taxpayer funded grifters over there.

      • Jessica says:

        I agree; the Easter Egg Roll is the most important social event of the year for the First Spouse. She can’t miss it for Invictus Games; I’m actually surprised the VP isn’t going but I think she’s focusing on the Ukraine situation with POTUS.

      • nina says:

        +1. Besides Peter Buttigieg is a Veteran.

    • Imara219 says:

      I don’t understand why he’s there either. So many other people in key positions should be there. It feels as if Pete is being groomed to take over into a higher position.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        He’s a military veteran in a cabinet position, so makes sense to me.

      • Kimmy says:

        He’s 100% being groomed for higher positions, but he is a veteran so this makes total sense to me. Plus, I bet they are Sussex stans! I also love that he and Chasten do not shy away from the spotlight. With LGBTQ rights being threatened left and right, its so important for them to be be visible.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Buttigieg asked to go since he served in the military – same with Sen. Duckworth.

    • Molly says:

      This. He and Chasten might be legit Harry and Meghan stans too.

      • Freaky Lizard says:

        I can picture Meghan And Chasten getting along really well! I hope this leads to them being BFFs!!!

    • bluhare says:

      Tammy Duckworth is a brilliant choice to go, in fact I think she should lead. But I know Buttegieg is a veteran too.

      And FLOTUS can’t go; she has White House events this weekend.

    • Eurydice says:

      He also served in Afghanistan.

    • FC says:

      Yeah the Biden’s clearly sending veterans. Also I don’t think it would be a good look to send Kamala or anyone that senior while Ukraine is at war.

  3. Latte says:

    Isn’t it the first Biden White House Easter egg roll this weekend? Would be a missed opportunity but I agree… kamala or her husband could have gone for me…. or Jill could just have attended the opening ceremony or closing

    • Jan90067 says:

      Kamala was one of the group that contracted Covid at that dinner; she may still be testing positive, and if so, shouldn’t be going until she’s be isolating for at least 5 days with a negative test.

    • EPLFan says:

      The VP is hosting Passover events and has since she arrived. The Second Gentleman is Jewish and it’s been a really, really big deal that a Presidential administration has recognized and celebrated Jewish holidays consistently.

  4. CindyP says:

    It’s Easter weekend; the Bidens will be with their family.
    I think this delegation is just fine; a more important question to me is whether or not the UK is sending a delegation

    • Shelley says:

      Plus they will have an Easter Roll at the white house for the first time since the pandemic I think.

      • Sunshine says:

        The Biden’s are also practicing catholics. The Easter weekend is the most important in our religious calendar. Yes. It’s more important that Christmas.

      • L4Frimaire says:

        This! While it would have been great to have the First Lady there but the Easter calendar conflict is pretty huge. No way can she miss hosting their first Easter Egg Roll. Everyone is so excited for the games and it’s about the veterans.

    • Linda says:


    • ChillinginDC says:

      What you said, it’s Easter weekend and I assume they will be going back to Delaware to visit their son’s grave too.

      Plus it’s the Easter Roll.

      And I think because of that mess with our secret service they may need to clean house still and don’t want any of them taking on security for Dr. Biden right now.

  5. Bitsycs says:

    I suspect it’s timing (Easter) and the delegation seems former military heavy which I actually think is quite nice.

  6. Louise177 says:

    It’s weird to send Pete. If not Jill or Kamala it seems someone high up in the Defense, Veteran, or even Health depts would be a better option.

    • Em says:

      It’s a whole delegation including the under secretary of the armed forces, it’s not weird to see Pete because he’s going to also visit a port in Rotterdam.

    • Malificent says:

      It’s not weird to send Pete. He’s a veteran who served in Afghanistan. He’s a peer to a lot of the veterans competing in the games.

    • Lemons says:

      Let’s be honest…Pete’s role as Transportation Secretary is a far cry from President, the role he actually wanted. These kinds of photo ops with H&M and veterans is perfect to put him on the map again.

      In the meantime, the Bidens can enjoy Easter with family. Kamala should be there, but I can see why Pete was chosen. He needs some face time.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        Yes, but he was running for president when he had only been mayor of a city. Now he is in a presidential cabinet. That’s exactly the kind of experience you should get/have before becoming president (in my world anyway, where being a former reality star is not a good qualification).

      • EPLFan says:

        Biden adores Mayor Pete — thinks he’s like his deceased son, who was also a veteran. Chatter in the circles is Pete’s going to be President one day and this is his first international trip they can justify. Between Easter for the Bidens and Passover for the Harris/Emhoff family there’s a lot of important domestic events this weekend.

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    I like the strategy of elevating other Cabinet members…especially the younger ones who will be carrying the mantle ongoing….With Ukraine…etc…The “A” Team got enough on their plate…from a Marketing standpoint…I would have made EXACT same call!

    • Gemma says:

      Agreed. Not saying that he doesn’t have enough work at home, he clearly does, but we’re at the cusp of really bad times and I think it’s wise not to send the higher ups but the future.

    • Trina says:

      You said exactly what I came here to say Lala.

    • Lemons says:

      Exactly! I wish I had read your comment before I posted because this is exactly why Pete is going and not the “higher ups.”

    • lionel says:

      Great point. The Democrats desperately need to find and showcase some charismatic young politicians, and this is one good way to do it. (Also, I didn’t know or had forgotten that Pete is a veteran! So as someone said above this is great PR for him personally too, assuming he has future political aspirations.)

      And, of course, the choice of Senator Duckworth is perfect.

    • Truthiness says:


  8. Amy Bee says:

    Buttigieg is a veteran.

    • whatever says:

      Exactly. That was my first thought when I heard that he was going. “Oh, that makes a lot of sense. He’s a veteran. This is personal for him. Great call.” It’s much better than sending someone that doesn’t have as much of a connection to veterans to just smile and wave.

  9. Petra says:

    Pete Buttigieg leading the US delegation does not mean Jill Biden will not be at the games. And if she is not there it’s no big deal, she has attended the games before. Also, Pete and Tammy are veterans.

    Kudos to the Invictus Games Foundation for taking Prince Harry’s dream to the world stage. Of all the other games celebrating veterans, the Invictus game is the most prominent with less than 10 years under its belt.

  10. OG Bella says:

    Duckworth, Remy, Ortiz-Jones, and Buttgieg all served, and Rory Brosius, a military spouse, runs Joining Forces program to support military families. So, this makes sense.

    In addition, Buttigieg is visiting Europe’s largest shipping port, so, again, makes sense.

    Dr. Biden not going, well, I wish she was, however I don’t keep track of her calendar so I have no idea if there’s a reason why she isn’t going.

    • Petra says:

      Pete and Chasten together on a world game representing the USA. I’m sure this is history…2 openly gay married men…JOY!

      My hope for Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg Presidential tickets is alive and well.

    • Jegede says:

      Plus Toronto 2017 is an easier travel for the US public officials, than crossing the Atlantic.😉

      And Hague 2020 is having a stronger turnout than the Aussie 2018 Invictus.,

  11. FancyPants says:

    Also not trying to start trouble here… maybe Dr. Biden has commitments at her teaching job? Isn’t it close to final exam time? Maybe she feels she has obligations to her students. It would have been nice to see her at the games, but I can respect that.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      It’s Easter Weekend and she will be hosting her first White House Easter egg roll as First Lady. Last years was canceled so it’s a big deal. People get such tunnel vision and forget that other events are happening. I’m sure Dr. Biden will show her support in other way since she can’t be there opening weekend. Too many people are constantly looking for validation for the Sussexes, and that’s not what these games are about.

      • North of Boston says:

        I think given who the Bidens are personally (practicing Catholics, with Easter being the most important holiday in the Roman Catholic calendar) and the Easter tradition at the White House, the scheduling of the Invictus games beginning Easter weekend meant neither of the Bidens would be there to kick it off. It’s not a personal statement to/from anyone

        Sending Sec Buttitieg and Sen Duckworth is good, given their history of military service and the benefits of the administration/Democratic party building their bench and raising up the coming generation of leaders.

        I’m more concerned with whatever’s going on with the Invictus website that’s causing every link I could find when looking for the event dated for the 2022 Games to redirect to the 2020 Games page.

      • Becks1 says:

        @North of Boston – I’m not sure what you mean. When I go to the website I’m directed to the page for the games in The Hague. they’re just calling them Invictus Games The Hague 2020 since that’s what then were supposed to be held and I imagine there may be some organizational and financial work under that name.

      • C says:

        I believe they are calling these games the 2020 Invictus games because of when they were originally scheduled and had to be postponed. That’s why announcements like Willem Alexander attending are made under the invictusgames2020 Instagram handle, etc.

      • lionel says:

        It’s like how the Tokyo Olympics were called Tokyo 2020 even though they were held in 2021: I think they had all the media and merchandise prepared and it’s easier/more cost-effective to keep the 2020 branding. What I’m not clear on is how frequently the Invictus Games are meant to be held. Assuming no worldwide pandemics or other barriers, is it annually or every 2 years?

      • Becks1 says:

        @Lionel – I think its sort of fluid, depending on the season and what else is going on etc. the first ones were in 2014, then 2016, then 2017, then 2018, and then they were going to be in 2020 (so almost a 2 year gap), and now the next ones are scheduled for 2023. i think currently the next ones are supposed to be in 2025 but I don’t think a location has been established yet.

    • North of Boston says:

      Thanks for the explanation Becks and others. That makes sense!

  12. SarahLee says:

    This is a fine delegation. Pete is a very high profile member of the administration and a veteran. Duckworth is a veteran. It’s Easter Weekend, so I’m guessing the Bidens are doing the Easter Egg thing at the White House and spending time with family. No need to pick over everything, and it isn’t a snub to Harry.

    • Polo says:

      Thank you! Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. The fact that they are sending a delegation is amazing! I don’t recall the Biden’s or a US contingent being at the last games in Australia.
      Dr Biden, Harry, and Def Sec Lloyd Austin did the video chat with troops a few months ago. They would have attended that event in person were it not for the pandemic.

      There’s games next year as well and hopefully things will be more normal.
      There has been lots of support and positive energy for the games. Let’s celebrate that instead of overanalyzing everything

    • Beana says:

      Agree! Tammy (my senator!) and Pete are both excellent choices. They have been in the shoes of the vets and have done advocacy for them for so long.
      I would not be surprised if Jill is busy hosting military families at the White House for Easter.

    • Nic919 says:

      They made a point to send a delegation so just doing that shows they think this is important.

      Even if Jill Biden doesn’t end up there in person I am sure she will being sending messages throughout.

      It’s far more than what the petty Tory UK govt has done.

  13. TIFFANY says:

    Secretary Buttigieg is former military.

    And let’s not scoff at his position. He is high enough up the food chain to attend.

    And considering what is going on with the Secret Service and how some outsider with a fake badge only had to bribe some of Dr FLOTUS security detail, well, there was a kidnap attempt being planned for here. I will stay put as well.

    I’m not seeing the problem here.

  14. Sofia says:

    I get that some wanted those who are “higher up the food chain” so to speak and I will be honest, I was surprised to hear Secretary Pete is attending. But it makes sense when you remember/learn he’s a former vet. As in Tammy Duckworth so sending them to a games where veterans are participating in, makes sense. And Pete himself is pretty high profile compared to other cabinet members.

    And those “higher ups” probably have their diaries pretty filled already especially with Ukraine.

  15. TeamAwesome says:

    My dreams of Maxima squishing Lilli’s cheeks have now shifted to a Sussex Buttigieg kiddo play date. Unlikely, probably, but I can pretend.

    I think it makes perfect sense to send a young veteran as the head of the delegation.

  16. Robem says:

    Also, Senator Duckworth is a wounded combat veteran- first female double amputee. Sending American representing military service is very appropriate. The Bidens observe Easter and should as a family IMO

    • AC says:

      I see no issue with this! I am here for it!

    • HeatherC says:

      I’m envisioning a conversation between Sen Duckworth and Harry….which is better….black hawk helicopters or Apache helicopters (Sen Duckworth was a black hawk helicopter pilot).

  17. Chelsea says:

    It’s a continent away. When the Invictus Games were in Toronto Trump sent his First Lady Melania but he didn’t send her to the Games the next year in Australia. I think it’s more common for the nations to send a First Lady or royal if the Games are in their country or a neighboring country. When it’s farther they are sending representatives from their Defense Department/Ministry of Defense though many countries like Romania and I believe Spain had official sendoffs for their teams from PMs and some of their royals so it’s surprising we didn’t get that from the First Lady or Second Gentleman.

    In this case I do like that Biden is sending actual veterans- especially Tammy Duckworth who lost both of her legs in Iraq. It’s also been confirmed that the King of the Netherlands will be attending the Games as well.

  18. Slippers4life says:

    I agree with others, as a Canadian, Senator Tammy Duckworth is viewed as quite the hero and represents why we do love our neighbours to the South. I think the Veterans will feel such joy with her presence and she will represent the US with aplomb. She is a world renowned gem!

  19. Fancyhat says:

    I have to say I’m bummed that such a minor administration official is going. Also bummed because Pete is such a smarmy politician that I’d prefer anyone else go. His behavior in the primaries was appalling and I still remember his concentration camp selfies that his campaign tried to bury. 🤢

    • ANON says:

      Thanks, @Fancyhat! Black residents of South Bend told us the truth about Pete years ago. His handling of racist police violence was disgusting.

      • Kendikane says:

        @Freaky Lizard, *this you* (abby-rose) on Reddit stating you wrote this to bait Meghan stans. How juvenile!

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      I’m not a fan of Pete either. I’m also wondering why Sen. Duckworth isn’t leading the delegation. She is the exact demographic represented by Invictus. We all know this administration is big on representation. Perhaps she didn’t want to?

  20. AC says:

    Pete is a former military officer and I see no issue with this. @Polo said it all!

  21. notasugarhere says:

    This will incense the deranged W&K stans. They’ve been attacking charity twitter accounts for a couple of weeks if those accounts post pro-IG info. Several of those t r o l l s have been openly anti-LGBTQ in their posts too. To have a high-level US official who is gay representing the US? The W&K stans (aka MAGATs) will be out of their minds.

    • MsIam says:

      That behavior sounds like Qanon stuff. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory nowadays. I’m not letting it derail my enjoyment of seeing the Sussexes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Many W&K stans are open Drumpf fans, it cannot be excused away with ‘Qanon stuff’. Two of the most rabid anti-Meghan trolls all over forums and SM are HUGE MAGATs.

  22. LucyLee says:

    The US delegation is just fine. Sometimes we overthink things.

  23. MsIam says:

    I’m guessing Easter commitments prevented a lot of folks from attending. There is always next year in Germany.

    • Normades says:

      I love this. Pete is a veteran like Harry. I hope the 4 of them do dinner and become bffs.

  24. Srsly says:

    Tammy Duckworth also supports the US Version of Invictus that has been around for thirty – five years.

    A world leader in rehabilitation, the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic provides nearly 400 profoundly disabled Veterans with training and rehabilitation every year. Veterans with TBIs, spinal cord injuries, visual impairments, amputations and other severe disabilities are challenged to overcome perceived limitations through adaptive skiing, sled hockey, scuba diving, rock wall climbing, education and other activities.

    Just a reminder to those of us who feel so strongly about supporting Invictus that there is a program right here at home that has been serving our veteran community for 35 years.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Srsl, I know about the Warrior Games and I think that’s what inspired Harry to create Invictus. He’s the first one to say that, so I don’t think anyone has forgotten what we’ve got here in the US. I believe both organizations do really wonderful things for veterans and service members. The fact that Invictus is global means it has a bigger media presence. It takes nothing whatsoever from the Warrior Games.

    • Nyro says:

      Yeah, you do know that the Warrior Games sent a shout out to the Invictus Games on twitter, right?

  25. Cel2495 says:

    I don’t think it shows a decline of support at all if Dr. Biden doesn’t go. It’s awhile ass delegation going , service men/ woman and veterans. That’s an honor and showing respect to the games. How awesome it is that they can go and support their fellow veterans?

  26. ANON says:

    Agreed, Pete the rat is a big downgrade.

  27. M says:

    These are the right people to go seeing as there have been some close calls with Covid at the White House lately. Also, I stan Senator Duckworth. She is amazing and just the type of person who needs to represent the US abroad.

  28. L4Frimaire says:

    That’s an impressive and huge US delegation. Hey Mayor Pete! I don’t think Jill Biden is going because the games are starting Easter Weekend and the White House Easter Egg roll is Easter Monday, which of course is hosted by the First Lady and a very important tradition. It’s the first time they’re having it due to Covid suspending it last year, so it’s a big deal she has to be there for.

  29. anniefannie says:

    I’m surprised at the negative comments about Pete, what am I missing?
    I think the selection of Duckworth, Pete and hubby was an inspired choice.
    Sending veterans that’s service is well known and in some cases heroic seems more than appropriate. While Jill’s slavish commitment to the vets is commendable I think this honor should be given to those that served!
    OT: As for Pete, his response to Meghan McCain re: late term abortions on the View has endeared him to me forevah!!
    ( please YouTube if haven’t seen )

    • lionel says:

      Just Googled! Thanks for the tip, I agree his response was excellent. WTH happened to Meghan McCain to make her so angry? (Don’t answer that, not trying to threadjack. Just, wow.)

  30. matthew says:

    I think Duckworth and Buttigieg are pretty good gets for Invictus. First Lady would be cute but honestly it’s probably not big enough for her right at the moment.

  31. Jay says:

    I hadn’t even considered that the US could send such a large delegation. I love Senator Duckworth, so anything that elevates her makes me happy!

    I was excited to see Dr. Biden with Harry and Meghan, but I forgot about what abig deal Easter is at the white house. Bless her, Jilly from Philly is so unafraid to let her teacher flag fly that she put giant valentines on the White House lawn. I can’t even imagine what she’s going to do with the egg roll.

    Also, it is possible that she might send a message or pop in for the closing ceremony, and for reasons of security they wouldn’t announce it. Even if she doesn’t, it’s a sign of respect for an international event that’s still relatively new to get such a show of support.

  32. RP says:

    My gut tells me Dr. Jill isnt going because it’s a security risk with what’s going on in Eastern Europe right now, that’s all.

  33. Lorelei says:

    Maybe one or both of the Obamas might show up? I’d love that. 🤞

  34. Bob Eckert says:

    “I’m surprised at the negative comments about Pete, what am I missing?” Bernie Bros hold grudges forever.

    • Imara219 says:

      I won’t forget how dirty he did the Black community in South Bend or his horribly middling responses during the debates. Between his lack of experience coupled with his bland disregard for race relations, it’s unsettling to see him getting primed for bigger roles where there are others more qualified.

  35. AnneL says:

    As others have said, it is Easter weekend. Biden is a sincerely devout Catholic and all about family. If the games had been held over Christmas, would people expect either him or his spouse to attend? Then there is the pandemic, Ukraine, etc. I am sure he still likes Harry and supports Invictus but it’s not at the top of his list at this particular time.

    I was not a Mayor Pete supporter during the primaries but I am perfectly happy with him in his current role, and as he is a veteran and an impressive communicator I see no problem with him and Senator Duckworth representing the USA at the Games. This is a kind of a non issue.

  36. Jessica says:

    Kamala and Doug are doing the first Passover Seder at the Naval Observatory. That means the kids are flying in and likely other family and friends. They are going to enjoy the holiday weekend with family just like the Biden’s.