Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cabinetry

The grown-ups are taking charge.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will nominate Pete Buttigieg to be secretary of transportation, Mr. Biden’s transition team announced Tuesday, selecting a former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and former opponent who would bring a younger voice to the cabinet and add to its diversity as its first openly gay member.

[…]

President-elect Joseph R. Biden will nominate Jennifer M. Granholm, a former governor of Michigan and a longtime champion of renewable energy development, to be the next secretary of energy, according to four people close to the president-elect’s transition team.

If confirmed, Ms. Granholm, 61, will be the second woman, after Hazel R. O’Leary, who served under President Bill Clinton, to lead the vast department, which oversees the United States nuclear weapons complex as well as 17 national laboratories and a wide range of energy research and development initiatives.

I know some folks are wondering why Mayor Pete, with all his foreign policy interests, is given a post that sounds more like a backbench job. But since the country is in desperate need of infrastructure restoration starting with roads, bridges, and a rail system that hasn’t been upgraded since Harry Truman’s whistle-stop campaign in 1948, perhaps someone with civic experience could lead us there. Also, his foreign policy background would open the door to listening to ideas from places like Europe where they have outdone us in public transportation. Having him be the first openly gay cabinet member is just a nice plus.