On Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden formally nominated Pete Buttigieg, his former rival in the Democratic presidential primary, to head the US Department of Transportation. Biden said the 38-year-old Buttigieg could become a “new voice” in the fight against economic inequality, systemic racism, and climate change.
The 38-year-old Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has never held federal office and is the first openly LGBT person to be nominated to the Biden administration. If confirmed by the Senate, he will become the first openly gay minister in American history.
Biden welcomed the appointment, confirming that his new administration will record women and members of ethnic and social minorities. According to the president-elect, his “cabinet will provide opportunities for success and break down barriers that will help to get… bright heads and talents ” to the new White House administration.
According to Biden, Buttigieg will become “a new voice with new ideas that go beyond traditional politics.”
“We need someone who knows how to work with state, local, and federal agencies,” Biden said, noting that many US highways are in disrepair and bridges “are on the verge of collapse.”
“Transportation is the best manifestation of the American dream, delivering people and goods to their destination, directly or indirectly creating well-paid jobs,” said Pete Buttigieg, who took the floor after Joe Biden. “Misguided policies and missed opportunities in the transportation industry can worsen racial, economic, and environmental situations, divide or isolate entire neighborhoods, undermining the role of government in ensuring universal prosperity.”
Buttigieg said during his speech that he is a passionate fan of rail transport, and recalled that Joe Biden himself used Amtrak trains for many years, dividing time between his home in Delaware and Washington during his time in the Senate.