Harris, Buttigieg Rivalry Plays out in Infrastructure Debate | Beaufort County Now | Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner documents an interesting Biden administration power struggle.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Harris, Buttigieg Rivalry Plays out in Infrastructure Debate

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai.

    Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner documents an interesting Biden administration power struggle.

  • Negotiations over President Joe Biden's first infrastructure proposal, however loosely defined, have provided Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg the opportunity to boost his national profile as he and Vice President Kamala Harris use their day jobs to shape their political futures.
  • The dynamic mirrors a two-person version of President Abraham Lincoln's "team of rivals" after Harris and Buttigieg suspended their own 2020 White House campaigns against Biden before taking positions in his Cabinet.
  • But despite Harris being Biden's heir presumptive, Buttigieg is not ceding the stage as the pair jockey for influence with the new administration and address weaknesses in their resumes revealed by their failed presidential bids.
  • Buttigieg, 39, is "obviously" a very ambitious politician, said University of Notre Dame political science professor Geoff Layman, based near Buttigieg's home town of South Bend, Indiana.
  • "That Buttigieg has been higher-profile than past secretaries of transportation is not just because of his political ambition or talent, but also because President Biden has decided to really emphasize infrastructure in a way that past presidents have not," he said.
  • Layman contended that Biden tapped Buttigieg, the country's first millennial and Senate-confirmed gay Cabinet member, for the position because he "needed a politically attractive, articulate" transportation secretary to push for his agenda.
  • "And Buttigieg knew Biden would emphasize infrastructure, which is why he, as someone with presidential aspirations, agreed to accept what has traditionally been a fairly low-profile Cabinet position," he said.
  • Chera LaForge, Indiana University East's political science chairwoman, concurred: "His own existing connections on the national stage may make public outreach easier."
  • Buttigieg joined a bipartisan Oval Office meeting convened this week to discuss Biden's sweeping $2.25 trillion jobs and infrastructure spending package, even though he was not originally previewed as an attendee. Perched on a seat normally reserved for Harris or the guest of honor, Buttigieg took on the appearance of perhaps the key player in the talks.

Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Governor Urges N.C. Families to Sign Up Starting May 12 for Discounts on Internet, Computers
Editors at the Washington Examiner pan the president’s approach to his opening 100 days.
More than 175,000 people currently living in North Carolina have been diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis, and many more may have hepatitis but do not realize they are infected.
Kylee Zempel explains in a Federalist column why the nation’s capital should not become the 51st American state.
Caroline Downey writes at National Review Online about a welcome defense of parental school choice.
In an investigation fit for “McGruff the Crime Dog,” a fiscal watchdog group has sued for details on the two biting incidents by President Joe Biden’s dog Major.


We thought we was toast. We could be wrong.
Philip Klein of National Review Online pans a federal agency’s latest pronouncement on wearing masks outdoors.
The economy is rigged, but not in the way Bernie Sanders thinks — capitalism is not the problem.
When is losing the entire value of your property due to government regulation, not an “undue hardship”?
Is it a Tool to Divide Us?
Today, Governor Roy Cooper granted a Pardon of Innocence for Darryl Anthony Howard of Durham, who was convicted of crimes he did not commit.
If you are covering Secretary Buttigieg and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff’s visit to North Carolina today, please consider including this quote from the North Carolina Republican Party.


Recently, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and more than 30 members of the Senate Republican Conference sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona requesting the withdrawal of the Department’s “Proposed Priorities” on American history and civics education.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended remaining lockdown restrictions in his state on Monday by executive order and outlawed so-called vaccine passports.
That's a good thing. Shun them and support conservative media
Lawyers representing Derek Chauvin have filed a motion to have him be given a new trial in the death of George Floyd after it was revealed that one of the jurors that convicted him last month had been photographed at a Black Lives Matter march in Washington D.C. last summer
We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 2-8 as Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week in North Carolina, in recognition of the essential public service provided by employees in the state’s prison system.
Elections have consequences. Biden administration hostile toward vets
Legislation introduced in this session of the General Assembly seeks to reduce restrictions created by certificate of need laws, which critics say reduce access to health care and increase costs.


Back to Top