Obama’s Potential Secretary of Transportation

Many news sites have listed potential candidates that Obama may choose for cabinet positions. Since we’re most interested in the position of Secretary of Transportation, who might he choose for that all important post?

The Sun-Sentinel has R.T. Ryback, Mayor of Minneapolis, Representative James Oberstar from Minnesota, Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania, and Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon as potential candidates for the job. That last name should have all of us jumping for joy if he is selected for the position. Blumenauer, from the great bicycling city of Portland, is the only congressman who rides his bicycle to work at the Capitol. The picture above conveys the idea that he is a man concerned about bicycles as a viable mode of transportation, and his development of the recently passed Bicycle Commuter Act gives him a record of seeking the betterment of bicyclists everywhere.

Obama, please pick Blumenauer! We’ll love you more for it if you do!

12 Responses to “Obama’s Potential Secretary of Transportation”

  1. 1 Felipe A

    I’m all for Blumenauer, but he’s gotta lose the bow tie.

  2. 2 Collin

    Any way we can lobby for that? Who would we email?

  3. 3 JM Palacios

    Contact his campaign, perhaps? It’s Obama’s choice, so contacting him should do the trick. Perhaps contacting his Senate office would work as well.

  4. 4 Ellen

    Bow ties are H-O-T on guys who ride bikes!

  5. 5 Jessica M.

    Haha, Bill Nye wears a bowtie too. And drives a Prius.

  6. 6 Mary Pat

    Have you looked up Oberstar’s record on bike trail creation?

  7. 7 JM Palacios

    No, I haven’t. The fact that Blumenauer actually rides a bicycle to commute himself speaks volumes to me over any other politician who is probably just trying to keep his constituents happy. I can see he really cares about riding the bicycle personally (for more than just recreation), and that has translated to action. I would expect a more consistent concern for bicyclists from Blumenauer than anyone else. Even the current secretary, Mary Peters, has talked about the importance of bicyclists, but at other times has called for an end to spending on bicycle trails. Actions speak louder than words, and personal actions speak louder than political actions.

  8. 8 Nick

    Jack Opiola, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton was contacted by the Obama Administration. He is apparently candidate for Secretary of Transportation

  9. 9 Ron Sampson

    A top contender for DOT Secretary is Jane Garvey, former FAA Administrator (and the last FAA Administrator to perform well)…her presence would certainly restore integrity and respect to the DOT, which has been an absolute embarassment under Mary Peters.

  10. 10 Michael

    Don’t forget that there are several modalities in the Department of Transportation. Picking a candidate who understands trains and airplanes and trucks and roads and such is just as important as one who understand bicycles. And unlike a previous commenter, I am not sure Jane Garvey performed well as the FAA Administrator. Of course, if I was an air traffic controller, I might think otherwise. They did get a pretty good pay raise out of her.

  11. 11 joe mama

    Blumenauer is my US representative and we love him but he’s not an engineer. Obama (and the nation) would do best buy picking some obscure engineering Ph.D. over a well liked politician.

    Jeez. Can you imagine if he’d have picked someone without a law degree to be Attorney General? It’s the same thing picking a non-engineer to be Transporaton Secretary. Why don’t people get this?

  12. 12 JM Palacios

    We have a non-engineer as Secretary of Transportation in Florida, Stephanie Kopelousos. It works for us and it would work for the USDOT as well. At that level, you don’t need the technical knowledge of an engineer, just the ability to see the big picture and direct the agency. As an engineer myself, I’d rather have a politician at the top who knows the ropes in Washington at the top and can see the bigger picture than an engineering Ph.D. Some engineers learn to handle politics well enough for that position, but politicians are just as qualified. While I could see some advantages to engineers making the big decisions in transportation, the reality of it is that elected representatives (politicians) make them, and that is not changing anytime soon.

    Wired has a good article on the subject discussing some of the needed qualities of the secretary.

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