President-elect Joe Biden has picked former Democrat primary opponent and staunch campaign surrogate Pete Buttigieg as his transportation secretary, according to multiple sources Tuesday afternoon, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and Reuters. Buttigieg formerly served two terms as mayor of South Bend, In.
Reuters broke the news exclusively:
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 15, 2020
WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden has selected former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, his former Democratic primary rival, to lead the Transportation Department, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Buttigieg dropped out of the race in March and endorsed Mr. Biden along with other moderate Democrats. Leading the Transportation Department, he is expected to play a prominent role in the incoming Biden administration’s push to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges.
Mr. Buttigieg, a 38-year-old openly gay military veteran who served in Afghanistan, emerged as a surprising next-generation contender for the Democratic presidential nomination against Mr. Biden and notched a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses. But that win was overshadowed by technical glitches and reporting delays in the caucuses and he faded in the contests that followed.
The WSJ piece also noted that Mayor Pete beat out some heavy hitters in the lefty, Democrat world:
Mr. Buttigieg beat out several others for the transportation role, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the people said.
That’s gonna sting.
Near the middle of last month, my radio podcast pal George Templeton and I speculated about whom president-elect Joe Biden would tap as members of the cabinet for his incoming administration. Since his show is about foreign affairs, we necessarily focused on roles that related to that sphere. But the source article via Politico included the major cabinet positions the former vice president would need to fill. The piece, published on November 7, suggested that Mayor Pete might be considered for several roles, including Veterans Affairs:
Buttigieg has been recently touting his foreign policy knowledge and his allies have been lobbying for a foreign policy post, with some openly suggesting he’d be a great ambassador to the United Nations. Buttigieg has some chips to cash in with Biden after his crucial endorsement ahead of the Super Tuesday primary elections in March and his busy campaign schedule for the Democratic nominee.
And UN Ambassador, where, laughably, the best “qualification” the writer could conjure was that, unlike others being considered, he can’t be grilled “about his role in the Iran nuclear deal during his confirmation hearing”:
But he also wouldn’t have to answer Republican senators’ questions about his role in the Iran nuclear deal during his confirmation hearing.
This might not be the right place for Mayor Pete, though.
Pete Buttigieg was so bad at transportation issues as mayor that a pizza company had to fix the city’s potholes for him.https://t.co/MvbYGmvxXW
— Chris Martin (@chrisjdmartin) December 15, 2020
Nevertheless, Politico’s piece assured its readers that Buttigieg would surely land somewhere, since he’s been such a good soldier for Biden. And, indeed, that appears to be what’s happened now.