Although his nomination is being framed by some as a nod to those who've criticized a lack of diversity among Obama's second term cabinet picks, the White House was quick to defend Mayor Foxx's qualifications and record of experience, reports Franco Ordoñez. "As mayor of what it called one of America’s most vibrant cities, the White House said Foxx has the firsthand knowledge needed to create jobs and compete in a global economy. The White House praised Foxx’s ability to integrate local, state and federal resources to meet transportation challenges."
"Federal officials cited his efforts to bring a streetcar line through the center of the city, expand Charlotte Douglas International Airport and extend the city’s light-rail system north to UNC Charlotte."
"Foxx is interested in how transit can shape urban development," adds Ordoñez, "and he shares the Obama administration’s support for high-speed rail and creating walkable cities with development clustered around transit stops."
LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Peoria who was beloved by many progressive advocates for his outspoken advocacy for alternative transportation modes, will be a tough act to follow.