The Corner

Economy & Business

Er . . . This Is Pete Buttigieg We’re Talking About, Right?

Secretary of transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg listens during a confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Reuters Pool)

As mentioned in the tail end of today’s Morning Jolt, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg deserves some grief for being away from his job for the better part of two months, as America’s supply-chain problems got worse. If the head of a federal department is going to be away from the office for two months while a major problem is getting worse . . . wouldn’t it have made sense for someone else to be named the acting secretary for the duration?

But this morning, some of the criticism is going over the top, by implying that the physical presence of Buttigieg in the office would have made a dramatic impact on the severity of the current supply-chain crisis.

Eh . . . really? This Pete Buttigieg? This guy’s focus was all that stood between some better, more manageable outcome and our current empty-shelves mess? If Buttigieg had never missed a day of work, do you really think the current supply-chain disruption would be all that different?

Isn’t the other uncomfortable fact for the administration that Buttigieg has been out on paternity leave for two months, and no one noticed?

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