Obama picks LaHood to drive Transportation Dept., Schapiro at SEC
Next Cabinet-elect spot up for leaking and announcement in Chicago by President-elect Barack Obama is Transportation. Reportedly former Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood will get behind the wheel of that department. (See news video below.)
He's a 63-year-old Republican, one of the partisan tigers who got elected in the anti-Clinton Republican Revolution of 1994 led by Newt Gingrich. Except LaHood turned out to be not so partisan, which makes him ideal to fulfill Obama's bipartisan Cabinet promise, since Defense Secretary Robert Gates is technically an independent.
LaHood's Illinois district was centered in Peoria, headquarters for Caterpillar, which is kind of transportation and will love the economic stimulus infrastructure program.
Obama has also picked Mary Schapiro, a former commissioner, to return and head the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is under fire for somehow missing the recently revealed $50-billion Ponzi scheme. Schapiro would be the first female full-time head of the SEC, having served there temporarily before.
And Obama is also reportedly eyeing Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his Labor secretary. Gotta get 'em all done by the weekend, when Obama heads for his Hawaiian vacation.
-- Andrew Malcolm