If you got a ticket for distracted driving, was inexplicably reimbursed for an airline fee or found work on a state highway recently, Ray LaHood probably had something to do with it. LaHood announced this week he will not return to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation during President Obama’s second term. As LaHood sees it, "I have had a good run. I'm one of these people who believe that you should go out while they're applauding." (1)
So why should we be clapping?
News of LaHood’s resignation has prompted critics to argue we should be glad he won’t be Transportation Secretary much longer.
In the announcement of his pending resignation on the DOT website LaHood included a link to a comprehensive overview of the accomplishments the department achieved under his direction. LaHood is known for ramping up policing of distracted driving, negotiating fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double the federally mandated corporate average by 2025 and allocating billions of stimulus dollars.
LaHood was proud to mention “We helped jumpstart the economy and put our fellow Americans back to work with $48 billion in transportation funding from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, and awarded over $3.1 billion in TIGER grants to 218 transportation projects across the Nation.” (2)
Personally I’d like to thank LaHood for deeming every car I’ve ever owned, save for a 1995 Honda Civic, a “Clunker” under the Cash for Clunkers program he supported.
There’s no shame in driving a good clunker.