Nov 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pete Buttigieg is a near-certainty for Biden's Cabinet

Joe Biden holds onto Pete Buttigeg's shoulders, as both men smile in front of a crowd.

Pete Buttigieg endorses Joe Biden in Dallas in March. Photo: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

One near-certainty about Joe Biden's Cabinet: Pete Buttigieg will be in it. Biden officials have made clear to donors and party officials the question surrounding Buttigieg is not if, but where, he lands, Democrats close to Biden tell Axios.

The intrigue: Behind that certainty, though, are a range of questions about how to put his obvious political talent to use.

  • The multilingual Buttigieg has told friends he wants U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but he may face internal competition from Julie Smith, a longtime Biden foreign policy confidant.
  • Former diplomats Wendy Sherman and Linda Thomas-Greenfield are other possibilities.
  • Rep. Ted Deutch from Florida also has expressed interest.

Other slots for Buttigieg range from Housing and Urban Development to Veterans Affairs to the Office of Management and Budget.

One key question: How would Kamala Harris feel about having a potential 2024 rival lurking the Cabinet and building a donor base from a perch at the United Nations — and around New York City's big donors?

  • Some Buttigieg allies think he should take a job letting him burnish his credibility with the African American community, where he underperformed during the primaries.
Go deeper