Pete Buttigieg hasn’t been to work in months. And if you haven’t noticed...well, neither has anyone else.
It turns out Biden’s Transportation Secretary has been on paid leave and chilling at home with his husband, Chasten, since mid-August following the birth of their two children, announced on Sept. 4.
They didn’t previously announce it, but Buttigieg’s office told West Wing Playbook that the secretary has actually been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their two newborn babies.
“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation. “He has been ramping up activities since then.” As he does that, Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children,” the spokesperson added.
Buttigieg’s hiatus from work comes amid skyrocketing inflation and a massive disruption in the supply chain thanks to clogged ports and a dearth of truck drivers, which has thrown a major wrench in Americans' ability to get everything from holiday gifts to basic necessities like food. Public schools are struggling to feed students thanks to lagging shipments. Store shelves sit empty as grocers wait on delayed trucks. Retailers scramble to meet consumer demand as the Christmas season approaches, even as the price of goods and gas both soar.
All economic crises you’d think would have something to with Buttigieg’s job as the head of the nation’s transportation system…but alas. (Of course, the fact that he hasn't really been doing anything for weeks and nobody's noticed only further proves the lack of public faith in his ability to do his job in the first place.)
Instead, the former South Bend mayor, whose complete lack of qualifications was widely called into question following his nomination as Transportation Secretary, recently joked about the massive global shipping crisis, saying that anyone who waits until Christmas Eve to do their shopping would likely have problems securing their gifts.
"I think there have always been two kinds of Christmas shoppers," he said. "There’s the ones who have all their list completed by Halloween, and then there’s people like me who show up at the mall on Christmas Eve…if you’re in that latter bucket, obviously there’s going to be more challenges."
As you might expect, that flippant remark didn’t go over so well with the public, who didn't think a massive economic upheaval is very funny.
But, given Buttigieg has apparently been on vacation for the past two months, it’s likely he didn’t even notice.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)