LaHood next to hit the exits

posted at 1:51 pm on January 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The turnover in Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet continued today with the departure of Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary.  While the decision was announced today, LaHood told the Associated Press that he made the decision immediately after Obama’s re-election victory in November:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still in President Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet, said Tuesday he plans to leave the administration. His move continues an exodus that will give Obama’s team a new look in his second term. …

LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on but said he was still “conflicted” by his decision because he liked working for Obama and considered it the “best job I’ve ever had in public service.”

LaHood’s Republican affiliation got a lot of mention during the first term, but it was in scant evidence otherwise.  Just a few of LaHood’s Greatest Hits:

In other words, few Republicans will feel real nostalgia at his exit.  Now, the question will be what direction Obama goes in nominating a replacement.  For the last three presidential terms, the Transportation slot has been allocated as a bipartisan position; Democrat Norm Mineta held the post for George W. Bush.  With Obama ready to make a sharp left turn in the second term, we can probably expect that short tradition to come to an end.

The Associated Press offers a few possibilities for a replacement, none of whom are Republicans:

Possible replacements for LaHood include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has pushed for increased rail service in Los Angeles and served as chairman of last year’s Democratic National Convention, and Debbie Hersman, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The name of former Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who led the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has also been mentioned.

Oberstar will be 79 years old this year, so he’s an unlikely choice.  With Obama under fire for nominating only white men for his open Cabinet positions so far, Oberstar’s unlikely on several levels.  Villaraigosa might make more sense, especially after his profile-raising appearance at the Democratic convention last summer, and perhaps especially after the departure of the only high-ranking Latinos among Obama’s advisers this month, Ken Salazar and Hilda Solis.  Hispanic activists have already chafed at the lack of interest in their binders full of candidates, and Obama’s efforts on immigration reform aren’t likely to make them forget about the appointment opportunities that have already passed by.

If it’s Villaraigosa, expect an even bigger push for high-speed rail funding, especially for California’s ridiculously expensive and unnecessary San Andreas fault line project.  And don’t expect that to be the end of diversity complaints about the second-term Cabinet, either.


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Why do we even have a transportation secretary?

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Bye

————-
OT – everything is faux any more.

Obama’s claim is incredibly impertinent.

He can’t shoot anything.

Schadenfreude on January 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on but said he was still “conflicted” by his decision because he liked working for Obama and considered it the “best job I’ve ever had in public service.”

LaHood like John McCain is the perfect embodiment of the Infiltration of the GOP by Marxists.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Shuffling the deck (chairs).

apostic on January 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Why are there so many departments anyway?

Schadenfreude on January 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Maybe Maxine Waters can take his place.

Schadenfreude on January 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Why do we even have a transportation secretary?

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Because the Trains must run on time… Wouldn’t want the ovens being under utilized now would ya?

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Ray LaTheHood.

chewmeister on January 29, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Agencies under DOT:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Maritime Administration (MARAD)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Office of Inspector General (OIG)
Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
Surface Transportation Board (STB)

Department of redundancy department.

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Obama’s claim is incredibly impertinent.

He can’t shoot anything.

Schadenfreude on January 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Why do you insult the President? The guy is a born shooter. He has more practice shooting his mouth off that no range has seen in a year.

Archivarix on January 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Van Jones would like back in.

Bishop on January 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Maybe Maxine Waters can take his place.

Schadenfreude on January 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Or maybe that dude that thinks Guam might tip over.

chewmeister on January 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM

distraction.gov

lmfao…

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Department of redundancy department.

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I think you left out the Department of Silly Walks, clearly that must fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation… o_O

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

California’s ridiculously expensive and unnecessary San Andreas fault line project

I am SO stealing that Ed.

JusDreamin on January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I think you left out the Department of Silly Walks, clearly that must fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation… o_O

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

That is the Ministry of Silly Walks. You can find the secretary’s office just down the hall from the Argument Clinic.

No good without a link 8D

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

If they’re any prayer warriors here, pray for twerp. She hasn’t slept for over 35 hours. Just pray for her safe arrival, and eventual rest. I’m worried bout her. Last time we communicated, it wasn’t good. Anyway, keep her in your prayers.

tommy71 on January 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Van Jones would like back in.

Bishop on January 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

No Antonio Villaragosa. You all get to enjoy him now.

Oil Can on January 29, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Is this the part where I get to say? “Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya!”

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

tom daschle concerned on January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Love that Python skit. Didn’t really even need to look. ; )

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Good riddance!

tomshup on January 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Is this the part where I get to say? “Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya!”

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

No, this is where we once again weep bitterly over being betrayed by Marxists pretending to be Republicans.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

How about Al Gore? Might as well go for the end zone!

michaelo on January 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

He’s one of the squishy 8? Lol!

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

How about Al Gore? Might as well go for the end zone!

michaelo on January 29, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Damn, missed it by that much.
(must take typing class, nah who am I kidding)

D-fusit on January 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only RINO Republican still in President Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet

FIFY

If incompetence is the hallmark of Barry’s appointees, then Tony Valar (AKA Villaraigosa) should fill the bill.

Not that he’d get much done. He’s normally too busy looking for cameras to jump in front of; social events to get invited to; and female reporters to take to bed with him.

GarandFan on January 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Oberstar will be 79 years old this year, so he’s an unlikely choice.

Jimbo is an old-school, groin-kicking, knife fighter from a bright blue, big labor stronghold.

(Think back-alley Chicago with pine trees.)

It’s his if he wants it.

Bruno Strozek on January 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Van Jones would like back in.

Bishop on January 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

What do you wanna bet he gets shoe horned in somewhere within the next 6 months???

BigWyo on January 29, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I’ll go way out on a limb here, and predict that his replacement hits at least 2 diversity check boxes. And I don’t think it will be a gay leprechaun.

What are your guesses?

shanimal on January 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Possible replacements for LaHood include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Oh, please do take Tony V. Please. We haven’t seen much of him around L.A. recently anyway and he can do for the DOT what he’s so wonderfully done for the City of Angels.

hawkeye54 on January 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM

If they’re any prayer warriors here, pray for twerp. She hasn’t slept for over 35 hours. Just pray for her safe arrival, and eventual rest. I’m worried bout her. Last time we communicated, it wasn’t good. Anyway, keep her in your prayers.

tommy71 on January 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Working it. What is up?

GWB on January 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Working it. What is up?

GWB on January 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Not sure exactly as to why the concern.? alt

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Another rat jumps off.

Philly on January 29, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Way past his Sell Date.

Another Drew on January 29, 2013 at 6:40 PM