Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Suck-Up

It's obvious that Pete Buttigieg does not take his duties as secretary of transportation seriously.  Indulging in a secret "paternity leave" (for an infant acquired from a woman) shortly after assuming office, only to have a major port congestion scandal blow his cover, was the first clue, one of many to follow, culminating (so far) in the holiday season airport meltdowns.  So what is his real job?

Quite obviously, it is to act as the ultimate suck-up for a doddering president lurching from one crisis to another, barely able at best to remain coherent in his infrequent responses to media questioning on those relatively rare days he does his job in the White House.  No matter how outrageous and divorced from reality the praise Buttigieg emits for his boss, he does so with a smirk on his face.

With the State of the Union address coming tomorrow, Sunday saw Buttigieg on suck-up blitz.  All clips and transcripts via Grabien.

Consider this whopper on the SOTU delivered to Jake Tapper: "There Are So Many Accomplishments to Talk About":

TAPPER: "He's going to have a new person sitting behind him, the new Republican House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy. Anything President Biden wants to get done over the next two years, other than executive actions, will have to go through Kevin McCarthy. Should we expect the President to lay out a long list of things that are never going to happen under a House Republican leadership, or is it going to be about ways and places where Republicans and Democrats can work together, areas where there are common interests?"

Buttigieg: "I'm really looking forward to the State of the Union, because, first of all, there are so many accomplishments to talk about and many of those accomplishments happened on a bipartisan basis. You remember, there was a lot of almost snickering when the President took office saying that it would be possible to deliver historic infrastructure legislation, historic economic legislation, and do it on a bipartisan basis. But that's what happened. And so, I think the hand continues to be outstretched to anyone, including anyone across the aisle, who's prepared to work with us to get things done. But let's talk about what we have to show for that, even just in the two years that the administration has been here. We just saw the latest round of job numbers that came out, record low unemployment, the lowest we have had in more than 50 years. And, usually, when unemployment is that low, inflation is going up. Right now, inflation is going down, along with unemployment. We're talking about the most jobs created under any president in this period. Matter of fact, the President creating more jobs in two years than you have seen typically in four, and coupled with things that Republicans often say that is very important to them, like deficit reduction, historic reduction of the deficit to the tune of $1.7 trillion under this president. You look at what's been done in two years, and I think the President is going to be going into the State of the Union speech with a context of extraordinary, historic accomplishment. And with that, I think is a wind at our back, even with a House that is now, of course, in the hands of the opposite party, to say, 'Okay, what else can we get done for the benefit of the American people, first and foremost, to keep this extraordinary economic growth going, and then to deal with other priorities that matter to people, whether they are in red blue or purple areas?'"

Or this BS delivered to Chuck Todd: "It's Difficult to List Biden's Accomplishments in a 'Distilled Way'":

Todd: "Let's go to the President's State of the Union. Look, he's got a lot of things to tell. Why do you think that it has not penetrated the American public?"

Buttigieg: "Well, look, these things don't sell themselves. And it's one of the reasons I'm really looking forward to that State of the Union address. I will say that there have been so many accomplishments under this administration, it can be difficult to list them in a distilled way.

Recently, the President hosted a send-off for Ron Klain, the departing Chief of Staff, and he put it in a way that I thought was especially moving. When you think back in historic terms to what it means to inherit one of the toughest situations faced by any president since FDR, pass the most significant legislation on our economy in many ways since FDR, while facing the largest land war in Europe since Truman, achieving the second-most-important health care bill since LBJ and the most important infrastructure bill since Eisenhower, as Ron put it — and that was just the beginning of the list of accomplishments. But one of the things that we found is that this is happening simultaneously with some of the toughest circumstances ever. We recognize that. And there continue to be a lot of issues that Americans are facing every day, even as we see extraordinary economic news, up 500,000 jobs just created in the last month."

Todd: "Well, that's the thing. Nothing seems to accrue to his benefit politically."

Buttigieg: "Well, people say that. But then this president has exceeded expectations again and again, politically and functionally in terms of what we're getting done."

Biden's age?  No worries.  "You can't argue against his record":

Jake Tapper: He'll be 81 on Election Day in 2024. Republicans such as Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are already seeming to make a generational argument, whether that's aimed at Biden or Trump, it doesn't really matter. Both in advanced years. You made a similar generational argument when you were running against Joe Biden for president yourself. Are you worried that it could work in 2024?

Buttigieg: Generational arguments can be powerful. As you said, I've used them myself. The most powerful argument of all is results. You can't argue — at least I would say you can't argue with a straight face that it isn't a good thing that we have had 12 million jobs created under this president.

Letting the Chinese spy balloon complete its mission over our mist sensitive missile bases before shooting it into the salt water of the ocean, where corrosion would make its electronics unrecoverable?  

It was "handled appropriately":

Well, again, the President gave instructions to have it handled, to have it shot down in a way that was safe. As you may have seen, there's reporting now that the debris field that was created by this balloon when it was shot down was about seven miles long. And so, any time the military is considering an operation like that, they have to consider the safety of the American people. The President called for this to be dealt with in a way that balanced all of the different risks. That's exactly what happened. The military did a terrific job. From our perspective in the DOT, of course, our main concern is the safety of the national airspace. This thing was above where flight operations happen, and so any debris would have passed through that national airspace. Look, the FAA works very closely with the Pentagon, in this case had to do ground stops on those airports on the Eastern seaboard, close off some of the airspace to make sure that everything was safe and secure during the operation. And, as you know, the operation took place without any damage or injury to any American lives or property."

My guess is that Buttigieg has made sucking up to powerful people the basis of his career — starting with schoolteachers, then professors, and later political bosses.  Maybe he expects Joe Biden to run for re-election and dump Kamala for him as veep, setting him up for president.  Considering the lack of election integrity, maybe it will be a successful strategy.

Photo credit: Grabien screen grab.

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