‘Cabinet of firsts’: Biden touts Buttigieg’s historic nomination

President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet is shaping as much as be a crew of “firsts,” and he launched yet one more of his history-making nominations Wednesday: Pete Buttigieg as his choose to steer the Department of Transportation.

If confirmed, the previous mayor of South Bend, Indiana, could be the primary brazenly homosexual member of a presidential Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate.

“This Cabinet will be the most representative of any Cabinet in American history,” Biden stated earlier than formally introducing Buttigieg as his nominee. “We’ll have a Cabinet of barrier breakers, a Cabinet of firsts.”

Biden stated Buttigieg is his ninth “precedent-busting” choose — his earlier ones embody, most notably, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who would be the first lady to serve in that position; Alejandro Mayorkas to move the Department of Homeland Security, who could be the primary Latino in that position; and retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as protection secretary, who could be the primary Black American within the position.

Biden described Buttigieg as “one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet,” a “management expert,” “a policy wonk with a big heart” and a “new voice with new ideas determined to move past old politics.”

“What I admire about Pete is, he’s always clear about who he is, what he believes and how he wants to bring people in, not exclude them,” he stated earlier than turning the rostrum over to Buttigieg.

After discussing his expertise within the infrastructure and transportation area, Buttigieg acknowledged that “the eyes of history are on this appointment, knowing that this is the first time an American president has ever sent an openly LGBTQ Cabinet member to the Senate for confirmation.”

Buttigieg, who stated he even proposed to his husband in an airport terminal, recalled seeing a information story as an adolescent in Indiana about James Hormel, President Bill Clinton’s choose for ambassador to Luxembourg, who, Buttigieg recalled, was “attacked and denied a vote in the Senate because he was gay, ultimately able to serve only by a recess appointment.”

“I learned something about some of the limits that exist in this country when it comes to who is allowed to belong, but just as important, I saw how those limits could be challenged,” he stated of watching the Hormel story. “So, two decades later, I can’t help but think of a 17-year-old somewhere who might be watching us right now, somebody who wonders whether and where they belong in the world or even in their own family, and I’m thinking about the message that today’s announcement is sending to them.”

Even earlier than Biden formally introduced Buttigieg as his choose to steer the Department of Transportation, LGBTQ advocates have been celebrating.

“Pete’s nomination is a new milestone in a decadeslong effort to ensure LGBTQ people are represented throughout our government – and its impact will reverberate well beyond the department he will lead,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, stated in an announcement.“It distances our nation from a troubled legacy of barring out LGBTQ people from government positions and moves us closer to the president-elect’s vision of a government that reflects America.”

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, stated Buttigieg’s “voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before.”

“This is a historic moment for our community, though not the end of our advocacy,” David stated in an announcement. “We have and can proceed to interact with the Biden-Harris Transition crew to make sure that LGBTQ folks can be appointed in any respect ranges of authorities and that these appointments will replicate the complete variety of our group, together with and particularly LGBTQ folks of colour and transgender and gender-nonconforming folks.

While Buttigieg is anticipated to be the primary brazenly homosexual presidential Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate, he is not going to be the primary total. That distinction belongs to Richard Grenell, who served as performing director of nationwide intelligence below President Donald Trump from February to May.

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