President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Pete Buttigieg for secretary of transportation, a move that will delight a core segment of the Democratic base.
Buttigieg, a 38-year-old serial memoirist and former mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana, ran for president in 2020 despite having no relevant qualifications. He did, however, establish himself as the preferred choice among wealthy white liberals with graduate degrees, and the last choice among minority voters of every income bracket and education level.
Buttigieg’s support was particularly prevalent in the “boat shoe” strongholds of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, leading some analysts to conclude that his primary campaign was the whitest presidential campaign since Mitt Romney’s in 2012. He is sometimes referred to as the “white Obama.”
Buttigieg’s experience in the field of transportation includes spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on private air travel during the 2020 primary. As mayor of South Bend, Ind., he oversaw the repaving of a small segment of road in front of his house and helped implement a bike-share program.
During the primary, Biden’s campaign mocked Buttigieg’s record as a small town mayor in a brutal digital ad that has since been removed from the internet, for obvious reasons.
Buttigieg will be the second openly gay man to serve in a top administration post. President Donald J. Trump’s former director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, was the first.