Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Politico in an interview published Wednesday that he isn't thinking about running for president in 2024.
"I’d say the other thing that I'm really enjoying about this job, although it's very demanding and obviously requiring a lot, is that this is the least I have had to think about campaigns and elections in about a decade, and that's a very good thing," he said.
The spotlight on Buttigieg comes as Biden continues to flounder in polls and a new Politico/Morning Consult survey shows Buttigieg with the highest name ID (83%) of any member of the Biden administration other than the president and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The survey also shows Buttigieg with a higher net favorability rating (+10) than everyone in the administration, including Biden (-6) and Harris (-12).
The next highest net favorability rating in the cabinet after Buttigieg belongs to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin.
Despite Buttigieg’s denials, his name is sometimes talked about by White House aides as a natural Democratic presidential nominee in 2028 — or 2024 if the president decides not to run.
"Nobody in the West Wing shuts that down," said one person with direct knowledge of the discussions. "It’s very open."
In addition, although the political action committee set up by Buttigieg in the aftermath of the presidential race, Win the Era, has mostly kept quiet, the website remains operating, with former campaign aides Maxwell Nunes and Michael Halle helping to keep it afloat, according to filings and disbursement reports.
Buttigieg has also been on the road as a prominent face of the president’s infrastructure package, a $550 billion legislative initiative that passed with bipartisan support and which he will help implement and sell to the public.
"What excites me most is that we're going to have a lot of groundbreakings and eventually a lot of ribbon cuttings," Buttigieg said of the year ahead.
As his popularity rises, Buttigieg has also denied reports of any sort of rivalry with the vice president, saying: "We work extremely well with the vice president's team, and I'm proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team and this administration."
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