Peoria’s man in the Obama Cabinet is looking at a busy final year. Ray LaHood, who represented much of central Illinois in the U. S. House for seven terms, will leave his job as U. S. secretary of transportation at the end of this term. He says 2012 will be busy and won’t discuss publicly his plans beyond.
While Republicans are piling on President Obama, “I certainly would have supported the president’s initiative to put people to work,” says LaHood. “I think his initiatives have been very bipartisan.” LaHood this week announced the $150 million purchase of a line between Chicago and Detroit for high-speed rail. While the high-speed project would make that trip only a half-hour shorter – and shorten the Chicago-St Louis trip by about an hour – LaHood points to the economic and environmental benefits as being at least as important as faster trains.