In the wake of hard-fought presidential primary campaigns, the winning candidate often performs a sudden about-face to join forces with former rivals in preparation for the new administration. And Joe Biden seems to be following that trend.
After Biden named Pete Buttigieg as his Transportation secretary, the Democrat’s transition team moved to delete a brutal primary campaign ad mocking his former competitor’s public service as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Fox News reported.
“The best of who we are”
Since the media first declared his victory in last month’s election, Biden has named a number of high-ranking nominees, and that includes putting several one-time political rivals up for jobs in Washington.
Both Biden and Buttigieg jockeyed for position as the Democratic primary race heated up, though Fox noted that the former South Bend mayor was among the first in the field to eventually endorse Biden following a South Carolina victory that all but sealed the former vice president’s grip on the nomination.
As Biden continued to assemble a prospective Cabinet, he announced in a tweet on Tuesday that Buttigieg is his pick to head the U.S. Department of Transportation.
According to Fox, Biden called the former mayor “a leader, patriot, and problem-solver” who “speaks to the best of who we are as a nation.”
The decision to install him as Transportation secretary, Biden explained, was made “because he’s equipped to take on the challenges at the intersection of jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate.”
Of course, Biden’s recent praise stands in stark contrast to the criticism invoked during the primary race — including the now-deleted campaign ad from February that slammed Buttigieg as a young and inexperienced small-town mayor who would not be prepared to deal with problems on a national scale.
Over the background of a soaring and uplifting score, the video touted Biden’s accomplishments, contrasting with the decidedly less serious music that accompanied Buttigieg’s comparatively paltry local achievements as mayor.
The narrator credited Biden with leading the charge to pass Obamacare, for example, while Buttigieg was given the dubious distinction of approving decorative lights under the bridges of his city.
While it is unclear when the video was discarded from the Biden campaign archives, Politico recycled its central argument in a piece published on Wednesday that downplayed Buttigieg’s experience.
As the article’s pithy title argues, as incoming Transportation secretary, the former mayor will be going “from fixing potholes to managing billions.”