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Pete Buttigieg on the reality of working with Biden, how bridges fight fascism, and modern fatherhood
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Pete Buttigieg on the reality of working with Biden, how bridges fight fascism, and modern fatherhood

A conversation with the secretary of transportation
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We spoke with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg earlier today.

The cabinet secretary and former presidential candidate has been one of the most effective communicators in the Democratic Party and has brought his breadth of experience to the job of fixing America’s infrastructure, a project the Biden administration has been committed to on a scale not seen since the New Deal era.

Buttigieg has distinguished himself as not only a political figure but also a serious thinker on a huge range of issues. He also has rare skills in conveying ideas — especially across the great American partisan divide. Nobody can sell a bridge — and we mean that in the best possible way — quite like Secretary Pete.

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We asked Buttigieg to weigh in on the swirling debate about President Biden’s future, and to share his own experience of working with the president. And we spoke about his notion of infrastructure as a defense against extremism and authoritarianism: “Toxic politics arise in conditions of policy failure, in conditions of shared stress, and in conditions of inequality. And we're addressing all of those,” he said.

We also got into why he goes on Fox News and the changing nature of fatherhood and what it means to be a man.

(Note: Secretary Buttigieg spoke with The Ink in his official capacity and could not comment directly on the 2024 presidential campaign.)


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I don't want to ask you a political question. I want to ask you a kind of factual question because there's so much heat and passion and opinion, and everybody's got a take, and people have sometimes different takes on different days.

But I want to ask you, just as someone who has worked with President Biden, there are claims from some people that he's completely fine and absolutely nothing wrong. And there are claims from other people who've worked with him that there's a real decline. And even if it's survivable, it's something real that is observable with the eyes.

As someone who's just actually worked with him, have you seen anything that validates the concerns that lots of people have, or do the people who have those concerns just have no idea what they're talking about?

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The.Ink
The.Ink
Conversations about politics and culture, money and power, from Anand Giridharadas