Buttigieg’s potential impact

Buttigieg’s potential impact

Is Pete Buttigieg the best-qualified candidate for transportation secretary? asked Henry Grabar. “Emphatically not.” Given his scant transportation experience, “Mayor Pete’s” nomination was an obvious reward for endorsing Joe Biden during the Democratic primaries. But that doesn’t mean he’s a bad choice. 

The “relentless ambition” that bothers Buttigieg’s detractors well positions him to “make an impact in a field that is a total disaster.” Americans are over-reliant on cars, air travel is “teetering on the brink of collapse,” and public transit is “decades behind on global best practices.” The transportation secretary will be at the center of “any plan to reduce the country’s carbon footprint” and must help repair the damage the pandemic did to “both airlines and transit agencies.” As South Bend mayor, Buttigieg had a strong record on “urban design” issues, pushing successfully for more affordable housing, pedestrian-safe streets, and a better rail connection to Chicago. As a presidential candidate, he spoke persuasively of the damage caused by our car culture. With his eye on higher office, the wonky, highly articulate Rhodes scholar will push hard for “signature accomplishments” in an area with a lot to fix. Buttigieg could “really make an impact.”

 

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