Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday called President Obama’s dedication to high-speed rail the “crowning glory” of his transportation legacy.
“I think the crowning glory for the president — and he is going to have many legacies but his transportation legacy — will be high-speed rail in America, bringing passenger rail all over America,” LaHood said, speaking at a news conference in which Obama announced the nomination for Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next transportation secretary.
“Let me tell you what I mean by that. I visited 18 countries in the past 4 1/2 years. The common thread throughout every country is a national vision, national leadership, national commitment. And that’s what the president provided over the last 4 1/2 years,” LaHood continued. “What he said to America is we know you want a different kind of transportation. And Lincoln started the rail system in America. Obama has started high speed rail in America. What a great legacy.”
LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illionois who served from 1995 – 2009, announced that he would be leaving the administration earlier this year. On Monday, he called being transportation secretary “the best job I have ever had” and told the president “if you are not the best person I have ever worked for you are right at the top of the list.”