Buttigieg must pay his dues

Had a revealing chat the other day with Michigan’s latest transplant from South Bend who is an again off again resident of Traverse City.

Maybe you’ve heard of him. He wanted to be president of the United States, Pete Buttigieg. But not this time.

He’s married now to his mate who has parents in Traverse City and the former mayor of South Bend is all in on the allure of the city.

“I love the cherrys and had no idea the window for growth was so narrow. And then there is the sweet corn. I thought I knew something about sweet corn being from the Midwest, but it is great. And then there is the Grand Traverse Pie Company,” he went on and on.

Well you get the point. He loves it up there, “and every chance I get I want to go there.”

He also wants to go to D.C. as a possible member of the new president’s cabinet assuming Joe Biden wins this thing. He does say that directly but read on.

Mr. Buttigieg is savvy enough to know you never ever campaign for a slot like that. One, it is bad form. Two, it looks self-serving and three, it usually doesn’t work.

“I’m getting that question a lot. I’m flattered by the question,” he asserts during a TV-6 interview in Lansing, but, “all of my energy is going into making sure we have a Biden-Harris administration.”

That’s the P.C. thing to say, but as the interview unfolds you can read between the lines that if offered, he’d say yes to some position in a new Democratic White House.

He admits he wants to get back into public service one way or the other. Given his performance during the crowded and sometimes contentious Democratic presidential primary, lots of folks said this guy had something and his future was bright even if he did not get the presidential brass ring this time.

“I would love a chance to serve in the future” whether it is inside or outside the government.

But for now he marks time doing these one-off regional TV interviews as a good and loyal team surrogate, hoping to win a few converts along the way. It’s called paying your dues and lots of folks have done this job and in the long run it does pay off.

Former Gov. Jim Blanchard carried the water for an outsider candidate for president named Bill Clinton. And after Mr. Clinton took the oath, Mr. Blanchard landed a neat gig as Ambassador to Canada.

Going way back to former Michigan Gov. Soapy Williams, he did his due diligence for John F. Kennedy and when he lowered his hand after his presidential oath, Mr. Williams was off to Africa as the American representative there.

And on and on the list goes including former Gov. George Romney as HUD secretary for President Richard Nixon.

So impress your friends with this little side wager: Bet them that Mr. B. lands a spot in the Biden administration if there is one and to buttress you faith in that bet remember this exchange.

“So if I report tonight that you have not closed the door to a cabinet post, you would not object?”

“No. No. Look. I’m not closing doors to anything.”

So has does Secretary of the Treasury Buttigieg sound?


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