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Mayor Pete becomes second-ever Senate-confirmed openly gay Cabinet member

The millennial from South Bend continues to be scrutinized for his complete lack of experience.



Mayor Pete // Transport Topics

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of tiny South Bend, Ind., was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to become President Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary.

Buttigieg’s appointment follows widespread criticism regarding the 39-year-old’s complete lack of experience both in federal government and transportation, with many seeing his selection due only to his sexual orientation. Buttigieg now brings up the rear as the second, senate-confirmed openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet, following former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell’s historic appointment in 2020 by President Donald Trump.

News last month of the Biden administration tapping Buttigieg erupted in leftwing media falsely declaring Mayor Pete would be the first-ever openly gay Cabinet member. Confronted with the blatant historical revisionism, liberal media amended their false assertion to claim Buttigieg would be the “first Senate-confirmed openly gay” Cabinet member, but this was also a lie.

Grenell was confirmed by the Senate in 2017 by a vote of 56-42 to assume the prestigious role of Ambassador to Germany. At the time, Grenell became the highest ranking openly gay official in any presidential administration, and then ascended even higher. In early 2020, President Trump asked Grenell to join his Cabinet as Acting Director of National Intelligence, a role which did not require a second confirmation by the Senate.

While Buttigieg is not the first openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet, or the first openly gay presidential appointee to receive a Senate-confirmation, he is the first openly gay man in a presidential Cabinet to receive a Senate confirmation specifically for his role in the Cabinet, an unremarkable, highly-technical distinction rendering it completely unhistoric or noteworthy. Contrary to other media falsehoods from the 2020 Democrat primaries, Mayor Pete is also not the first openly gay man to run for President under a major political party. That distinction goes to Fred Karger, a gay man who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

When grilled about his qualifications to be Transportation Secretary, Mayor Pete famously responded that he simply loves to travel.

“Though I know that in this administration I will at best aspire to be the second biggest train enthusiast around. I spent a spring break in graduate school aboard a cargo ship studying there. Travel is synonymous with growth, with adventure, everyone love. So much so that I proposed to my husband Chasten in an airport terminal. Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic,” he said.

Critics have also pointed out that Pete seemed to struggle with the basics of transportation-related issues during his short time as mayor of South Bend, his only experience holding political office.

In 2019, the South Bend Tribune reported that many residents felt the city had the ”worst pothole situation in the state,” according to Fox News. The Tribune reported one year earlier that potholes at the time were the worst area repair shops had seen in “over 10 years.” Lines of vehicles reportedly awaited repair for pothole damages every day. Mayor Pete’s pothole problem got so bad, pizza delivery chain Domino’s stepped in and paid a grant to the city’s public works department to help fill the holes.