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The Little Streetcar That Could: Foxx Tapped For Transportation Secretary


With news that Team BO has cherry picked Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the country’s next transportation secretary, two notions chug down parallel tracks: either the workload of a top-ranking federal bureaucrat is a lot cushier and less demanding than ever imagined possible, or Foxx flat-out lied to his homegrown constituents last month.

That’s when Foxx said he wasn’t seeking another term as Charlotte mayor, in large part because he wanted to spend more quality time with his family. So naturally, big time federal government job.

Of course, lying to the public for the advancement of a political agenda in service to the Obama administration is no stretch for Foxx. He was caught cooking up whoppers during the sequester debate, doing his fair share of scaremongering to bolster Obama’s dire claims about its alleged impact on funding for schools.

In any event, it’s being roundly acknowledged that absent a willingness to obfuscate in service of the realm, Foxx’s resume is largely lacking in relevant experience that would qualify him to serve as transportation secretary. Foxx’s marquee track record along those lines during his tenure as mayor amount to overseeing a transit plan into bankruptcy; pushing to hike taxes for the Foxx Faux Streetcar to Nowhere, despite sensible, bipartisan pushback that has it stalled in place; and trying (at present it appears unsuccessfully) to prevent the N.C. General Assembly from wresting control of the state’s biggest airport away from Charlotte.

Indeed, Foxx’s most striking achievement in the world of transportation comes from managing to hold the amorphous position of deputy general counsel for a so-called green bus company that routinely secured city contracts while Foxx was mayor of the city.

Despite the flimsy, some would argue demonstrably horrid experience in transportation oversight and infrastructure management, there are two reasons outstanding that explain why Obama tapped ObamaLite as transportation secretary: Foxx is black and fills an Obama cabinet that has been criticized for its lack of diversity; and Foxx raised a ton of loot (although it panned out several millions of dollars short) for Charlotte to host the Democratic National Convention.

That’s seemingly enough these days to land somebody a gig that puts him 14 heartbeats away from the presidency, proving political patronage and good, old fashioned cronyism are still alive and thriving in our nation’s capital.

Bonus Round: speaking of cronyism, let’s recall the suspect circumstances surrounding the hiring of Foxx’s wife by the Department of Social Services, where she landed a fat, six-figure job as special assistant to the director – after the position had been posted for all of one day during an alleged hiring freeze. Ah, good times, good times.

Exit Question: how long until the Anthony Foxx Transportation Secretary Bobblehead Doll hits the eBay market?

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