One term in the Cabinet is enough for Ray LaHood (pictured). The Peorian, whom President Obama asked to serve as U. S. transportation secretary four years ago, is looking forward to whatever comes next. He says he’s ruled out a career as a lobbyist, saying, “That’s not something that I’m gonna do, so we’ll figure it (the future plans) out when we walk out the door.”
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LaHood says being transportation secretary is the best job he’s ever had, pointing out the changes he has been able to effect without a vote of Congress. They include raising the mileage standards -- “By 2025, all cars and light trucks will get 54.5 miles per gallon” – and implementing a “passengers’ bill of rights” -- “People don’t have to sit on tarmacs for more than three hours.” LaHood is proudest, though, of the administration’s work on safety, calling attention to texting and other forms of distracted driving.
He praises his successor in the House, U. S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), as someone with a bright future, and is also proud of his state senator son – Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), who, his father says, has developed his own political philosophies and is serving his district well. LaHood was a staffer for then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Peoria) before succeeding Michel in the House and serving seven terms himself.