Pete Buttigieg’s name has come up often as a potential Cabinet member in the upcoming Biden administration. Axios, citing “Democrats close to” President-elect Joe Biden, reported that it is a “near-certainty” that Buttigieg will be offered a job. It was not immediately clear which Cabinet position Buttigieg may be slated to fill.
Here’s what you need to know:
Buttigieg Expressed Interest in Serving as Ambassador to the United Nations: Report
Buttigieg could have been a potential candidate for the job of ambassador to the United States. According to Axios, Buttigieg verbally expressed interest in the position. Politico also reported that his “allies have been lobbying for a foreign policy post” for Buttigieg, who is conversational in seven languages other than English.
But Buttigieg lost out on the ambassador job to someone else within Biden’s inner circle. The transition team announced on November 23 that Biden had selected Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs during the Obama administration.
As Forbes pointed out, Buttigieg could also be tapped to lead the Veterans Affairs office. He served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan while he was serving as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Buttigieg Promoted Biden on the Campaign Trail After Dropping Out of the Primary Race
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, made a splash during his own run for the Democratic nomination. Despite winning the Iowa caucus, Buttigieg dropped out of the race on March 1.
Buttigieg took on an active role as a surrogate for Biden on the campaign trail. In the lead-up to the election, Buttigieg attracted attention for the sharp remarks he made during appearances on Fox News. For example, during an interview with Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier on October 7, he was asked about how Harris would justify changing her position on issues such as health care in order to match Biden’s stance. Buttigieg’s response was widely shared online:
There’s a classic parlor game of trying to find a little bit of daylight between running mates. And if people want to play that game, we could look into why an evangelical Christian like Mike Pence wants to be on a ticket with a president caught with a porn star. Or how he feels about the immigration policy that he called unconstitutional before he decided to team up with Donald Trump. If folks want to play that game, we could do it all night. But I think what most Americans want to hear about is, are our families going to be better protected than they have been by this president who’s failed to secure America in the face of one of the most dangerous things ever to happen to our country.
Before the vice presidential debate, Buttigieg helped Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare for the matchup by portraying VP Mike Pence.
Biden Has Described Buttigieg as Having ‘Unlimited Potential’
Buttigieg endorsed Biden the day after dropping out of the primary race. He made the endorsement at a campaign event with Biden in Texas before Super Tuesday voters cast their ballots.
During the joint appearance, Biden shared high praise for his former opponent. Biden said Buttigieg reminded him of his late son, Beau, describing Buttigieg as a man of “enormous character, such intellectual capacity and such a commitment to other people and folks, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that he would step up and endorse me.”
Biden also said he would want Buttigieg on his team if he won the nomination and then the White House. He also reiterated that he believed Buttigieg represented the future and that Biden would be happy to return the endorsement in the future: “I warned Pete that if I were lucky enough to get the nomination that I would be asking him to join. I would be asking him to be involved in the process because there are a generation of leaders of Pete’s age, my son, who have unlimited potential. The only thing that stands in their way is access and opportunity to be able to be known nationally. If Pete had been around another six years, I wouldn’t be standing here. Pete would be standing here. I’d be endorsing Pete. I really mean it.”