Trains For America

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NYTimes profiles LaHood, HSR is what keeps him up at night

The New York Times has an interesting profile of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today. It focuses mainly on the fact that he’s an erudite bipartisan bridge in the cabinet who actually has little experience in transportation. He’s even quoted as saying that would be just as happy as Secretary of Agriculture. Yet despite his apparent indifference to transportation issue, there’s one that catches his interest:

But one of the astonishing things about Mr. LaHood, 63, is how limited his transportation résumé is, how little excitement he exudes on the subject (other than about high-speed rail) and how little he seems to care who knows it.

Mr. LaHood describes himself as highly interested about issues relating to high-speed rail, and he has been a cheerleader for the administration’s “green” transportation initiatives, like bicycle paths and streetcars. But vehicles are only a small part of his portfolio. “Yes, he’s secretary of transportation, but he’s kind of our ambassador at large,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview.

It’s a good read about the man who is theoretically directing a lot of this all important stimulus money. And even if his particular interest wasn’t high-speed rail and green transportation, he’s at least toeing the party line of an administration that is proving to be very favorable to these issues.


Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail

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May 2009