But the Washington rumor mill says he has competition for the prestigious diplomatic position: Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, who ran for president in 2016 and won the popular vote, still wields enormous influence on the world stage despite losing the election to Donald Trump. Winning the most votes doesn’t matter in the archaic election system laid out in the U.S. Constitution.
Buttigieg, first out presidential candidate to win a state in the primary, became one of the Biden campaign’s most popular surrogates after dropping out of the race and endorsing the former vice president’s bid. Buttigieg’s ability to stay on message, even while being heckled or appearing on Fox News, would be a plus in a position that requires deft wordplay.
The Washington Post is reporting that Clinton is being floated as a potential appointee as “a way for Biden to highlight the importance of that position in his administration.” The former Secretary of State under the Obama administration, Clinton has been praised as one of the best diplomats in modern time.
The Trump administration has had an antagonistic relationship with world leaders and the United Nations.
“Placing her there would raise the prestige of the U.N. itself at a time when global cooperation, and the U.S. role on the world stage, has ebbed,” the newspaper reports.
Buttigieg – who speaks several languages and is the son of Maltese American European literature scholar Joseph Buttigieg – reportedly wants the position, but is also being considered for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2014.
That position would make him the first out executive secretary and the first out LGBTQ member of the U.S. Cabinet in the presidential line of succession.
Biden is famously fond of the former mayor, saying this past March: “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau…. It’s the highest compliment I could give any man or woman.” He was referring to Beau Biden, his son who passed away due to brain cancer in 2015.
Biden foreign policy advisor Julie Smith has also been rumored to be in consideration for the position.