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At Least It's Not 'Ambassador' Pete

Democratic National Convention via AP

I wrote a breaking news story Tuesday afternoon on the now-super-official President-elect Joe Biden choosing former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to run the Department of Transportation in his administration. And Jennifer Oliver O’Connell shared a particularly embarrassing reason in a later piece why Buttigieg might not make the best transportation secretary, since he could barely handle a similar role in his last job in a small, Midwestern city.

But in stories that appear in the wake of breaking news like this, there isn’t time or space to share more details. Luckily, here I can. Like what, you ask? Well, about a week ago, an Axios “scoop” — which in leftist-run media just means they’re guessing or making it up — reported there were still several spots available in Biden’s cabinet for the guy who won the Iowa primary, handily beat Biden in New Hampshire, then couldn’t get any traction outside the Northeast. And there’s the all-important fact that he got out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden before Super Tuesday. Hooray for the rung-climber!

What spots were still out there for him? Mayor Pete’s a veteran, so maybe Veterans Affairs secretary or U.N. Ambassador. It wasn’t really clear, though, where he would best fit.

One issue the transition team had, according to the Axios piece, was that Pete couldn’t really be seriously considered for a foreign affairs post (which he apparently wanted badly) because he has no experience there and is rather young.

But the publication pointed to another “problem”: Buttigieg is white and male.

But finding a Cabinet position for him has been a challenge as the former VP focuses on nominating women and people of color to high-level posts.

Wait, what? Even being gay isn’t good enough to get a golden ticket in the Democrat Party’s special constituency lottery anymore, if your skin’s the wrong color. Remind me which party is full of racists again? Because, sure enough, those two posts went to either women or minorities.

The piece then reveals (whispers) that Mayor Pete might possibly be tapped for commerce or transportation secretary. But one other possibility should scare the crap out of anyone on the right, or with a lick of common sense — I know it scared me. Here it is:

President-elect Joe Biden is considering a high-profile ambassadorship for Pete Buttigieg, possibly sending him to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

China. Read it again. Chy-na. Really? Of course, there’s no real way to know who these “people familiar” were, which is just a warm and fuzzy way of saying the writer spoke to anonymous sources. Or, as I mentioned earlier, voices in their own head.

But in this instance, though, I think there’s reason to think this Chinese ambassadorship was a real possibility for Mayor Pete. Look at how Axios parsed the idea:

The 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whom Biden has compared to his late son, Beau, played a key role in Biden’s nomination. Letting him deepen his foreign policy chops could boost Buttigieg’s future, since many inside the Democratic Party believe his return as a presidential candidate is a matter of when, not if.

Oh, but there’s the issue of insulting the Chinese, if you don’t take them seriously and send over a total neophyte like him (bummer). Even though a past, future president got foreign policy experience the same way:

The Beijing post has often gone to experienced politicians, toward the middle or end of their careers, as a way to confer respect to the Chinese.

  • A Buttigieg nomination would invert that model and give the Chinese an opportunity to get to know a potential future president. That happened with George H.W. Bush in 1974, when President Ford appointed him to the U.S. liaison office in Beijing.
  • Bush was 50 at that time; Buttigieg, if confirmed by the Senate, would be 39.

Whew! I guess we should be counting our blessings, huh? We could be looking at an ‘Ambassador’ Pete Buttigieg, or a Commerce Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Would you really want a progressive, former mayor in charge of the largest economy in the world? No, thanks.

Instead, as Victoria Taft, my friend and colleague over at PJ Media, noted earlier, we’ve only got a (yet-to-be-Senate-confirmed) Transportation Secretary Buttigieg…

“…because he likes choo choo trains from the 19th century and loves a government program…”

I’ll add that it probably didn’t hurt any that Buttigieg has likely never met a government program he didn’t love.

And though Buttigieg didn’t get that plum, ambassador gig, the Left still gets to check off its box. Congrats, I guess.