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Who will replace Ray LaHood?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Replacing the Transportation Secretary who tried to discourage most forms of transportation will be a big job. To be considered for such a prestigious position within the Obama administration, one must be pro-bicycle and anti-car, and have a real passion for "livable communities."

"[P]eople across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning.  This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized," LaHood has said. “We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

(Image: Getty) 

Yeah... I can't wait until the next Transportation Secretary proposes the use of rickshaws in place of semi-trailers.

So who could fill these walking shoes?  Speculation already abounds, despite the announcement of LaHood's departure having come just yesterday:

Speculation on Ray LaHood's replacement as President Obama's Transportation secretary is focusing on a group of former transportation officials and 2012 presidential campaign surrogates — including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D). ...

Villaraigosa has been at the top of the list. He has been the focus of DOT speculation since he played a visible role in pushing Congress to approve a $105 billion surface transportation bill last year in his role as then-president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said last week that Villaraigosa would make a "terrific" replacement for LaHood.

"I think he'd be terrific at it," Boxer said of the mayor of California's largest city. "No one has asked my opinion, but I think he would make a very fine secretary of Transportation."

Villaraigosa was also the chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Other candidates who have inspired chatter in Washington include former House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who has been running an infrastructure investment advocacy group he co-founded called Building America's Future.

Granholm could be a good, strategic choice.  The addition of a woman to his cabinet would help quiet the PC Police crying out for more diversity.  More importantly, Granholm would make otherwise dull Cabinet meetings much more entertaining...

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