Pete Buttigieg – Can He Make a Comeback? In today’s political divide, some scandals may also be more readily forgiven. Voters may simply not care. This certainly explains how Donald Trump remains popular with his base, even as he faces multiple criminal investigations.
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However, some baggage could still weigh down a politician enough to hamper their chances of making a comeback.
And that could be the case of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who likely wants to move past last month’s holiday travel snafu.
Pete Buttigieg: Can He Make a Comeback?
The question is whether that will ground his political ambitions or if a comeback is possible.
One lingering issue is the fact that Buttigieg has failed to address the admissions by airline executives that it is policy to sell more seats than capacity allows.
Complaints have steadily increased in recent years, yet the secretary of transportation has done little on the matter – including acknowledging that the problem is so significant.
“Ironically, we’re learning more about canceled flights from the airlines than we are from the Department of Transportation,” William McGee, the American Economic Liberties Project (AELP’s) senior fellow for aviation told Jacobin.com earlier this week. The anti-monopoly think tank has called upon the DoT to investigate whether the airlines are collecting money for a service they can’t actually provide.
It was also a month ago that Buttigieg had called for Southwest Airlines to take accountability amid the “meltdown” that left customers stranded on Christmas Day. But again little has been done, even as the issue was so great that some progressives had taken aim at his handling of the matter.
Buttigieg is apparently trying to put the holiday debacle behind him, and this week was in California with former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi at a ceremony for the announcement of a $400 million federal grant to provide improvements to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The money is reported to be coming from the federal government’s Bridge Improvement Program, which is one part of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts.
Clearly, Buttigieg would like to turn the focus on these accomplishments, but voters outside of the San Franciso Bay Area likely barely noticed or even cared.
With a series of winter storms barrelling across the country this week, travelers are likely to be reminded of the December meltdown. While none of that is the secretary’s fault, it could make it that much harder for Buttigieg to move past it. The Department of Transportation is one where it is also hard to tout accomplishments.
Road and bridge repairs result in traffic jams that frustrate drivers, while a new road surface or structurally sound bridge is likely to get little thanks. In fact, Americans now simply take this infrastructure for granted and don’t consider the benefits from maintenance, only the headaches that occur when is happening.
That is why for Buttigieg to make a true political comeback he’ll need to consider his next step – a House seat or a different cabinet position.
For now, his political stock isn’t doing well, even if some of the problems aren’t actually his fault.
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Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.