Following the inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the new administration has plunged into work. While Biden is already signing executive actions to reinstate rights for LGBTQ+ communities, Pete Buttigieg, Biden's former competitor, is ready for his confirmation hearings in the newly Democratic-controlled Senate. If confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg will make history.
On Wednesday night, ahead of the confirmations which begin this morning at 10 a.m. Buttigieg went on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. There he recapped his experience at the inauguration, hitting on how symbols that seem monotonous can sometimes provide us with solace, and even spoke a little to his goals if he is confirmed as Secretary.
"Four years from now, what do you hope that you have accomplished in the role," Fallon asked.
"I'd love to be able to look back on a tenure as secretary and say first of all that travel was and remains safe for workers and for travelers," Buttigieg began. Earlier in the interview he recounted how homophobia stalled James Hormel's nomination to be ambassador to Luxembourg iin 1997, a story he's told multiple times before. "But also, above and beyond that, that America restored its leadership role when it came to infrastructure." Of things in particular, the former ticked off improving roads and bridges as well as traveler rail.
"I'd love to be able to look back on these years and say this is when electric vehicles became much more widely adopted," he continued. "The possibilities there with technology around electric vehicles, around automated vehicles — if we can get the safety part right — and a whole bunch of other things coming could allow us to say that America became better prepared for the climate crisis, more just, and more economically sound because we did what we had to do when it came to infrastructure."
"I know it's seen as a nerdy topic," he finished off. "But I think it's one of the most interesting things that is before the administration right now and I'm really excited to do my part."