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Editor’s Blog: Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary is a historic step

“Travel, in my mind, is synonymous with growth, with adventure, even love—so much so that I proposed to my husband Chasten in an airport terminal,” said the former mayor of South Bend on Wednesday as he accepted his nomination to become President-elect Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation. “Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic.”

Mayor Pete is so mild-mannered, and the LGBT community has made such strides in society, that it is easy to forget how absolutely stunning both his nomination and his candor is. The first openly gay person to win a presidential primary contest—2020’s Iowa caucus—will likely also become the first person from the LGBT community to join the cabinet of a presidential administration.

The sense of moment was not lost on Mayor Pete, who, in his remarks, seamlessly moved from the personal and the intimate to the societal and historical. “The eyes of history are on this appointment,” he said, and recalled the tough time President Bill Clinton had pushing through his ambassador to Luxembourg nominee in the 1990s. It took Clinton five years to get James Hormel, who is gay, his ambassadorship, first nominating him for the same role in 1994 for Fiji (a move rejected by the antigay Fijian government), then facing fierce opposition from leaders in the Senate—opposition based solely on Hormel’s sexuality.

Hormel, a vegetarian who happened to be an heir to the Hormel meat packing fortune, finally won the position in 1999 through a recess appointment. “I watched that story and I learned something about some of the limits that exist in this country when it comes to who is allowed to belong,” Buttigieg said of his then-17-year-old self. Buttigieg doesn’t use the word “belong” lightly; as he’s said many times, it’s the key to his political and personal philosophy. “But just as important,” he continued, “I saw how those limits could be challenged. So two decades later, I can’t help but think of a 17-year-old somewhere who might be watching us right now, somebody who wonders whether and where they belong in the world, or even in their own family, and I’m thinking about the message that today’s announcement is sending to them.”

Buttigieg has often remarked that when he was young, he never could have imagined a career in politics because he was gay (just as he never could have imagined getting married to another man). But come January, this eloquent graduate of Harvard and Oxford, this former U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer who will have just turned 39, will find himself within the highest circle of power, with a major department to run—a department that knits together everyone in the country, regardless of geography or party or race or age. It couldn’t be a more fitting role for the man from South Bend.

Image: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.