Preachy “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg was beloved by cable news and was a staple and then… he just vanished.
Despite having no real experience besides his stated “personal love of transportation”,
President Ron Klain President Biden selected him as transportation secretary.
Recently, we’ve seen that cargo ships are piling up offshore waiting to unload, there aren’t enough truck drivers to ship things across the country, and we’re starting to see some bare shelves in stores.
In August, in the midst of the Afghanistan crisis, Vice President Kamala Harris was on a tour of Southeast Asia and told Americans that they should start Christmas shopping. The administration knew that supply chains were going to be a problem.
Yesterday would’ve been a great time to hear from the Transporation Secretary.
The Department of Transportation just admitted that the head of their department has been on leave for two months.
How did the stalwart journos in the D.C. swampland not notice this earlier?
While U.S. ports faced anchor-to-anchor traffic and Congress nearly melted down over the president’s infrastructure bill in recent weeks, the usually omnipresent Transportation secretary was lying low.
One of the White House’s go-to communicators didn’t appear on TV. He was absent on Capitol Hill during the negotiations over the bill he had been previously helping sell to different members of Congress. Conservative critics tried (unsuccessfully) to get #WheresPete to trend and Fox News ran a story on October 4 with the headline: “Buttigieg quiet on growing port congestion as shipping concerns build ahead of holidays.”
They didn’t previously announce it, but Buttigieg’s office told West Wing Playbook that the secretary has actually been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their two newborn babies.
In early September, the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana announced that he and his husband “are becoming parents.”
Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family. pic.twitter.com/kS89gb11Ax
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 4, 2021
“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation. “He has been ramping up activities since then.” As he does that, Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children,” the spokesperson added.
Right-wingers, who value family highly, suggested that perhaps during a crisis that will affect the entire country, perhaps taking months-long leave is at the very least bad optics.
Buttigieg was gone for months and no one seemed to notice or care
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) October 15, 2021
If the country can afford to lose you for two months so that you can relax at home, your job isn't necessary and should be eliminated https://t.co/dM7g83gpwB
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 15, 2021
And THAT is the issue most people have. I'd bet a healthy majority of Americans are for paternity leave and even that length or longer. But the way this was communicated (as in it wasn't at all) is the biggest problem *and* this is a national crisis involving his department. https://t.co/WXC9dfUrGF
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 15, 2021
One final point — obviously, I'm speaking from a rational perspective and as if Buttigieg was an actual cabinet secretary as opposed to a media darling who fawns over choo-choo trains.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 15, 2021
Jesse Kelly of the Jesse Kelly Show had joked that Buttigieg was on “maternity leave.”
I…..I was just making a joke. pic.twitter.com/E5Vz9nWvLB
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) October 15, 2021
Parental leave is great and all, and it gives time to bond with children, but why is he getting two months of paid leave when the administration knew that there was a crisis looming?
It’s not like Mayor Pete was nursing the babies or recovering from the birthing process.
Mothers take maternity leave to recover from childbirth and to nurse their babies.
Buttigieg took a two month paid vacation on your dime.
You embarrass yourself defending him and comparing him to an actual mother.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 15, 2021
But why should we be surprised? This administration has prioritized their vacations to crises since taking office.
Psaki and Biden both went on vacation when Afghanistan went into crisis, now Buttigieg has been on leave for 2 months during a major transportation crisis.
That’s some bad timing. https://t.co/p8QNUS9PIB
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 15, 2021
This administration has been completely incapable of handling any crisis with any semblance of competence.
You know what they say… the fish rots from the head down.
Check out Doug’s latest book, The Art of Joe: The Political Brilliance of President Biden. If you have left-leaning family members, workmates, or classmates, to buy several copies and place them in common areas. Make sure you have your video camera ready for when they pick it up and thumb through it because they will be triggered which will make for a great viral video to share across social media. Also, buy a couple for the GOP NeverTrumpers that you know. Finally, both the book’s cover and the epilogue, Notable Quotable Joe are worth the price of admission. We’ve included before and after Biden on Afghanistan. Jen Psaki will no likey this book, but you will. BTW, the book is 95% bereft of any content. Just like Biden’s head.