Bill Maher Asks Senator John Fetterman The Hoodie Question


It was near the end of his one-on-one interview with Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman that Real Time host Bill Maher asked the question that people have been requesting for weeks – “What’s the deal with the wardrobe?”

Fetterman, who was instrumental in getting a stuffy Senate to relax its dress code, came to Maher’s show adorned in his trademark hoodie and shorts. He also brought a receipt on a previous Maher joke about how Fetterman dresses like a guy whom the airlines lost his luggage.

“I’m not making a statement,” Fetterman calmly related. “I am into comfort, and I don’t have to iron, and it’s hard to find suits,” the latter quip a reference to his 6-foot, eight-inch frame. “I never understood why anyone thought that was interesting.” Denying his role in changing the dress code, he noted, “More people seemed concerned about me wearing a hoodie on the floor than Senators taking bribes.”

Maher was clearly enamored with his guest. Right at the top, he noted how Fetterman speaks “so freely. You speak like (the politicians) out of office, and its a beautiful thing.”

Fetterman has had publicized bouts with a stroke and depression. Maher wondered whether that played a part in allowing him to speak so freely.

The Senator acknowledged that it does. “That’s not reckless. It’s freeing. I think after all that, I have to say the things I really believe in and not worry about if there’s any kind of blowback.”

Fetterman said that he also talks about his battle with depression as a way to help others dealing with it. “That’s why I wanted to have that conversation. I want to say something to hep someone in that situation.”

Maher couldn’t get Fetterman to say anything controversial about the 2024 presidential race, other than his contention that “Pennsylvania picks the winner” and that Joe Biden will again triumph. Asked if Biden is the best one to be put forward, Fetterman fell back on the track record of Biden having won before.

In a lighter moment, Maher asked about Fetterman’s support for legalizing weed.

“I’ve heard that about you, too,” Fetterman shot back.

“It’s just a character I play on TV,” Maher quipped.

This week’s panel discussion included Matt Welch, editor-at-large of Reason Magazine and co-host of The Fifth Column podcast; and Abigail Shrier, journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up.

Their discussion ranged from too-permissive parenting to Caitlin Clark, with Shrier saluting J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series author, for having the courage to question transgenderism and the UK pushback on treating children.

In his “New Rules” editorial, Maher talked about the inhumane conditions in American prisons.

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