Biden welcomes Pete Buttigieg to ‘cabinet of barrier breakers’

Joe Biden boasts of a “cabinet of barrier breakers” as the US president-elect introduces his transportation secretary pick, Pete Buttigieg, who, if confirmed, would become the first openly gay head of a cabinet-level department.

Buttigieg, whom Biden called “a policy wonk with a big heart,” is one of several trailblazing picks by the veteran Democrat, who appears to be following through on his pledge to name the most diverse US cabinet ever.

“A cabinet that looks like America” is how Biden, 78, described the inner circle that he is putting together.

“We’ll have a cabinet of barrier breakers, a cabinet of firsts,” he tells reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, noting that eight “precedent-busting appointments” were already made.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks after he was nominated to be transportation secretary by US President-elect Joe Biden during a news conference at Biden’s transition headquarters on December 16, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images/AFP)

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is among the historic picks, being the first woman and first person of color elected to the post.

Others include retired general Lloyd Austin, who would be the first Black secretary of defense, and Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the Treasury Department.