Republican LaHood Chosen As Transportation Secretary

Surprising many, IL Congressman Ray LaHood, a Republican, was selected to fill the transportation position in Obama's administration, presumably to show a bi-partisan approach. Transportation reauthorization and the stimulus package await LaHood.

"Mr. LaHood would be the second Republican picked to serve in President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet, helping to fullfill a pledge for a bipartisan panel of advisers. The first was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Mr. LaHood's resume on transport matters was seen as thin by some critics. He does not currently serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, although he has in the past. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee he did not work on transportation funding.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D., Minn.) said Mr. LaHood's skills as an arbitrator will be essential at the Transportation Department.

The next transportation secretary will face an immediate challenge in handling the transportation component of an economic-recovery package that could run more than $500 billion. Mr. Obama has called for the biggest round of public-works spending -- on roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects -- since the interstate-highway system was built."

Full Story: LaHood to Get Transportation Post




This pick makes me a bit uneasy, not because he is a republican, but because he has virtually no experience with transportation and no technical background (degree is in education). Further, he is from an area of the country where none of the highway vs. transit questions even exist; Peoria, IL does not have much of a transit system.

It seems like a pick to satisfy the quota of republican's in the cabinet, but I really wish he had at least picked someone with a transportation background. It's like picking a defense secretary with no military/intelligence experience.

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