For a politician with presidential aspirations, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has major ground to recover after the East Palestine derailment debacle. So much so that most Americans believe he should resign.
That’s the word from the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in which 51% of responding voters said that he should step down or get a pink slip. Only 36% believe he should remain employed.
It was Feb. 3 when the Norfolk Southern train derailed near the Ohio town, releasing massive volumes of toxic chemicals, sickening residents and killing animals for miles.
Authorities responded by releasing the pollutants into the air, ground, and water through controlled burns.
All the while, Buttigieg from his Washington perch did not mention the disaster for almost two weeks. He finally found time to be on-site some three weeks after the derailment, and by then local residents had long run out of patience.
POLL: Majority of Likely Voters Want Pete Buttigieg to Resign as Transportation Secretary https://t.co/cJtpU1o0vA
— The Gateway Pundit (@gatewaypundit) March 14, 2023
The Transportation Secretary endured much criticism in recent weeks. Allegations flew that his and the Biden administration’s overall failure to respond were due to the area being staunchly “Trump country.”
When faced with that accusation, Buttigieg responded with an expletive.
Ironically, a late January Granite State poll showed the Transportation Secretary leading the field of Democratic possibilities for the 2024 presidential primary. Buttigieg raked in 16% of voter preferences as first choice, followed closely by Biden and others.
That poll is not aging well. The same survey showed a whopping two-thirds of Democrats oppose Biden running for reelection.
It did not help Buttigieg’s cause when former President Donald Trump showed up in East Palestine before he did. The secretary spent his time in the stricken town blaming everyone but the current administration and his own department for failings that led to the disaster.
Buttigieg later told CNN that the criticism that he endured over East Palestine taught him the error of his ways. He said that, along with policy work, leaders must also do “performative work.”
In the case of this administration, genuine, sincere, and timely concern would be a fresh start. But East Palestine’s demographics hardly align with the White House’s mission, and critics charge it was placed on the back burner until external pressure forced a change.