Thursday, April 25, 2013

Does Foxx have the chops to be transportation secretary?

With all the buzz swirling about Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx potentially being named U.S. secretary of transportation, I wondered: How do Foxx's transportation credentials measure up?

He has been mayor for a little over three years and was a City Council member for four years before that. Those roles have exposed him to local transportation issues, but I wouldn't think they'd make him a national expert on the topic.

Turns out, you don't really have to be a transportation expert to be transportation secretary. By my count, fewer than half of the country's 16 secretaries (the post was created in 1966) had significant transportation expertise when they were appointed.

Their experience runs from a lot to almost none. Mary Peters, who served in the role under President George W. Bush, had worked in the Arizona DOT for years before becoming its director. She then served as the Federal Highway Administration chief before Bush named her to his cabinet.

On the other end of the spectrum, William Thaddeus Coleman Jr. was a well-connected lawyer and an NAACP leader who had various roles in government when President Gerald Ford named him secretary.

Foxx's transportation resume would be thin for the job. But maybe a smart guy surrounded by strong managers could fill the role well. After all, had you heard of Mary Peters before now?

-- Taylor Batten

 

15 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

I know smart people who don't have a clue how to put paper in a printer.

Does Foxx's continued crying over a streetcar, a streetcar that we honestly do not need, equate to being smart?

par said...

Anything to get him out of Charlotte.

Ghoul said...

Has he cheated on his wife, or taxes, or both?

Anonymous192 said...

I voted for Foxx because I thought he was smart, book wise wnd streetwise. Now it looks to me as if Foxx's years at Davidson amounted to an affirmative action stint and a feel-good moment for the student body who elected him president. He has not done much as mayor, but it is his arrogant personality that I abhor. He is one of the most obviously self-serving politicians I have seen up close. But get him out of Charlotte. Foxx can do far less damage in DC than he can do in Charlotte. Obama is in his final term. He is going to hire a black to fill this position in order to please the black political caucus and the NAACP. It might as well be Foxx.

Fritz Smith said...

Anonymous192 with one of the best posts ever on this or any other board. You nailed it my friend. I have come to the same conclusion after watching this guy in action but I could not have written it nearly as well.

Bubba said...

I have had some real problems with the issues he has chosen to champion, no statewide office, but compared to czars he would be a breath of fresh air, both vettable (if such a word exists) and transparent -- no onion to peel back. I think Republicans would welcome the chance to vote for someone like him. Then he becomes a DC fixture. Maybe we get some bicycle lanes out of it. But let's think bigger. Foxx should champion a Transcontinental bike way. Do it right, no traffic sharing with motorized vehicles. Use old abandoned tracks. Get W behind it. Obama's always on a bike. Now that would be cool. Beyond that you can't really do much in two years...

Carlos Cantero said...

Got it love the stupid inbred rednecks that post here. Obama is hiring him because he's black? If you're stupid enough to believe that then you're stupid enough to believe that a woman can shut down a rape or that our planet was created 2,000 years ago. Yes, he has not been the best and I'll definitely agree that he needs to stop pushing this streetcar agenda that no one wants, but to bring his race into the conversation without no merit or prove, it only shows how small minded, backward and stupid are the people of this state and why people outside of the south look at us as a bunch of bigot morons. Plus, if Obama was hiring under that mindset, don't you think his cabinet would be all black instead of all white? And please spare me the bullshit victim role that white men are playing today... because you guys look just as pathetic as blacks crying racism sometimes for no valid reason. Throughout the history of our country and even today whites still have an advantage in this country in anything you want to do and control all aspects of our country, so cut the crap with the persecuted paranoia that you all have. Its not there and trust me, none of you want to play that card of persecussion when none of you had a problem persecuting, oppressing and even dehumanizing people of color in this country for generations, especially this region of the country. Did you all forget about slavery , segregation and Jim Crow? I bet you all did just to make youselves feel better at night. Come on you imbeciles... Stop reaching for fictional reasons or purposes that are not there except in your diminutive brains.

Anonymous192 said...

To Carlos: My comment was not intended to be racist. It has been reported in the Observer and the Washinton Post, plus elsewhere, that Obama is under pressure from black organizations to appoint more blacks to the cabinet positions he still must fill and that transportation secretary offers one of his best opportunities to do so. There is nothing racist by repeating what has been reported by major news organizations, unless you think they are racists, too.

cooldela1966 said...

Sure. He has paid his dues to Obama so why not? The staff does all the work regardless. More power to him.

Charles said...

Nice to see the Observer "policing" the abusive posters like Carlos. not.

BiBr said...

Foxx is living proof that it's Who you know and not WHAT you know.

BiBr said...

Carlos - you sound like a "stupid inbred redneck" and a hater to me.

Veronica said...

What buzz? The only buzz seems to be manufactured by the Observer.

Frank Grady said...

Well, we do know that race and sex never play into Obama's decisions.

Bubba said...

Hey Carlos,

Since you seem to have a sense of humor, not, this today from McClatchy:

"The choice is seen as part of an effort to boost the number of minorities in high-level positions on his Cabinet...

..."'Mr. President, your hair is so white, it could be a member of your Cabinet,' he (Conan O’Brien) said."

You can find that in the CO:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/28/4009485/obama-will-name-charlotte-mayor.html

If you still have a beef, take it up with the McClatchy Company, The CO, and the reporter, Franco OrdoƱez.

But more interesting is that that the once thought of as a dead-end job -- the position of mayor of Charlotte -- will have in short order produced a cabinet secretary and governor of a populous and powerful state.

We should at least get some more bicycle lanes -- and sidewalks across 77 -- and express bus service around the soon to be completed 485 loop. If we end up with edge cities (think ATL) they should at least be tied into the light rail when it is completed to the University. The laundry list grows.