Contra Axios, Pete Buttigieg Will Never Be President

He's reportedly being considered for U.S. ambassador to China, a post typically reserved for older, qualified politicians

December 9, 2020

Axios has reported a "scoop" regarding the future of Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old didgeridoo aficionado who could have won the Democratic primary in 2020—if just white landowners were allowed to vote.

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering Buttigieg for a high-profile ambassadorship, perhaps even sending him to represent U.S. interests in China. That makes sense, given his experience as mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana.

When it comes to political ambition and self-regard, Buttigieg's thirst for power and recognition is second to none. Reporting suggests he has already been offered two prominent roles in the Biden administration—OMB director and VA secretary—but turned them down because he wanted a "real Cabinet" position, whatever that means.

Axios reports that finding a suitable post for Buttigieg has been a "challenge" due to Biden's focus on diversity. These days, being a gay white man only counts for so much. And it probably has something to do with the fact that he's the 38-year-old former mayor of Indiana's fourth-largest city. His other qualifications include a failed presidential campaign and, before that, a failed bid for DNC chairman.

Per Axios, Buttigieg requires a high-level post in the administration because he "electrified donors" during the primary, and everyone assumes he will keep running for president in the future. Making him U.S. ambassador to China—a post typically reserved for older, qualified politicians—would "invert that model and give the Chinese an opportunity to get to know a potential future president."

This assessment ignores one crucial fact: Pete Buttigieg will never be president, at least not anytime soon. Is he really going to challenge Kamala Harris in 2024? The guy who won just 3 percent of the black vote in South Carolina? Who ran the whitest campaign since Mitt Romney in 2012?

Hosting dinners and speaking foreign languages as an ambassador are more Buttigieg's speed—in China, Norway, Saudi Arabia, wherever that may be. If that doesn't work out, he should stick to writing memoirs—anything to avoid becoming the Sean Eldridge of national politics.

Buttigieg has "signaled to the transition team that he's most interested in the foreign policy or national security realm," ignoring the advice of those who "see a political upside to a domestic Cabinet role in which he can build his relationship with Black voters, who largely rejected his candidacy." Indeed, he often failed to record a statistically significant level of support with black voters in primary polling.

So maybe he doesn't really want to be president. Except he obviously does.

If Buttigieg does somehow manage to win the Democratic presidential nomination in the coming years, it would mean the party has finally succeeded in transforming itself into the party of rich urban professionals with graduate degrees who wear boat shoes while summering in Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, or Cape Cod.

Good luck with that.

Editor's Note: The Free Beacon accurately predicted in December 2014 that Hillary Clinton would never be president.