Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

The word is Pete Buttigieg is going to be Biden's nominee for Secretary of Transportation. A few thoughts:

  1. I never quite understand the magnitude of loathing some members of the leftier edge of the Democratic Party had for Buttigieg. This is in spite of the fact that Mayor Pete was one of the few significant candidates running in 2020 that I was never tempted to support. That's because my view was simply that there's too big a gap to jump from "Mayor of South Bend, Indiana" to "President of the Untied States." But that doesn't mean I have any animosity towards him occupying other positions.
  2. While I think Buttigieg is perfectly fine for a Democratic cabinet appointment, generally, I'm not sure what relevant experience he brings to the field of transportation, specifically. When I think of the core issues in transportation policy a Democratic administration should prioritize, my mind immediately turns to mass transportation infrastructure in large cities. Buttigieg's small-town guy vibes don't seem particularly germane to that issue. Maybe he's got more thoughts on expanding high speed rail and environmental issues?
  3. I believe it was Matt Yglesias who pointed out that, to the extent Buttigieg does want to use his DOT posting as a springboard for even higher office, he'll probably need to do something eye-catching (it's not like the DOT is naturally on the media radar, after all). So that might engender confidence that he'll set an ambitious agenda -- and that would be a good thing.

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