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Obama search for the key economic cabinet positions of transportation commerce.
We're joined now by Norman meant at that he has held both of those positions he was transportation secretary under president George W.
And commerce secretary under President Clinton good morning and great to see -- -- -- secretary.
Good to see you Alexis all the -- won't be -- What he is -- no role of secretary of commerce and why is it's so essential.
Well the whole issue of being secretary commerce as secretary of transportation.
You are still the key staff person to the president in those respective areas.
Now in the -- e-commerce.
Because of trade.
It becomes a very important part.
Terms of not only relationships with -- domestic industry.
But the ability to also.
Deal with international leaders.
And international counterpart.
To the secretary of commerce.
So it's one that.
-- also fits NN sort of nonpartisan.
Non ideological roll so I think the being able to reach out becomes a further.
The -- they can further the base -- reaching out to bring a wide variety.
Of candidates in for the job.
Yeah it's interesting because I would argue and perhaps -- -- can argue better had you done the job.
Then it's probably one of the greatest opportunities for job growth in this country if we get it right now as you know president elect Obama was on the campaign trail.
He was questioning some of the labor laws and some of the issues related ten NAFTA have when you look at his priorities -- at.
Corporate tax rates in this country's incentives to keep businesses here to create jobs.
How do you prioritize.
That under an Obama administration.
Well I think that's and that kind of arm wrestling that would go on between let's say Treasury Department US trade to -- Department of Labor.
And it's -- one in which you -- you really do a lot of interfacing with other departments.
And so that would be a quality.
You want someone who.
As an individual.
Knows there's stuff that also is a great team player.
Let me ask you cool you would suggest we heard.
So many names I mean we've heard about that Catholic and Kathleen -- a scene of the Kansas governor.
We've heard a ballot.
-- pennies do -- pricks her we've heard about the senator from me.
There's so many names on the list who would you like to see in the role if he had to choose.
All of that would really be difficult for me to pick someone.
But I think when you take a look at someone like -- governor Sebelius.
And she as a business background she was insurance commissioner.
Penny Pritzker of course with -- fabulous background.
That Pritzker family in terms of the whole -- -- house operation.
But there are number of people who.
Are I think.
Really qualified for that job.
Who could be considered.
And it's going to be really up to the president as to how.
He sees that function.
As part of the whole.
Cabinet in interfacing with other departments.
All right let's switch gears for a moment because you were also shockingly the act transportation secretary you've been a very busy handing your career.
And shockingly I wanna I don't if I mean look I think transportation secretary commerce secretary I don't even tell everybody what the rest of the -- -- -- -- because it's already a.
-- has the upright as the only Democrat in President -- is -- administration.
I have really enjoyed being secretary of transportation as well.
So what is the role how important particularly is the role going forward what we talk about infrastructure building in this country because I.
I think -- really give a grade in transportation and we need to do -- work.
Well there's no question that we've had tremendous.
Since World War II especially since.
The signing of the national defense highway act by president Eisenhower in 1956.
But all those productivity increases I think in the last.
510 years I have now started to turn down.
Because of congestion.
And so it just at a point where -- and -- international global marketplace.
We can't afford to -- productivity going down and well we're trying to compete and a worldwide marketplace.
And so there's a tremendous amount of investment.
That's going to have to be made in transportation infrastructure.
To keep the economic development that we foresee.
And I think the priority for president elect Obama is to get the economy turned around.
From financial institutions to consumer spending.
To housing market.
Two automobiles to the -- and all of this is transportation related.
So it is very very important and especially when you think of the highway trust fund having him gone broke and fiscal year.
It's -- it's it's it's it's pretty remarkable you know listen there are a lot of names and wanna read off a couple -- names here.
And and get your reaction to some of these names we've heard about the congressman -- -- an hour we've heard about.
The Democrats Minnesota also congressman Oberstar we've also heard.
Ballot is Steve hemming or I -- -- that the list is pretty long who would you like to see it -- one of the top choices for transportation secretary.
Well -- the other name that keeps cropping up as governor Ed Rendell.
Of Pennsylvania but my colleague.
Congressman Jim Oberstar who is presently the chairman.
The house committee on transportation infrastructure.
From a legislative.
And knowledge perspective.
As qualified as anyone for that job.
Because Jim was on the committee has a staff person.
And that when he was working for chairman now blocked -- who is the chairman of the old public works and transportation committee.
The post that I held when I was then.
The house right and Jim is very very knowledgeable.
A wide expanse of transportation issues.
And then you have the executive type who would be governor Ed Rendell who who has a combination of the exit executive.
As well as -- knowing the importance of transportation.
Interest and we talked to both of them men and I have to say we're talking -- A congressman Oberstar wow I learned a tremendous amount about transportation infrastructure won best interviews at that we've ever had here at the U other than you.
Because always the best in -- -- yeah.
-- thank you Alexis.
I did not jam and Ed Rendell would be tough choices.
Steve -- -- is more a planner -- Steve is the executive director of the met to Bolton.
Transportation commission in the San Francisco Bay Area was on the commission.
Relating to infrastructure.
That was in the current event is in the current congress.
-- commission that was.
Formed by the citizen's congress this is -- there -- a lot of heart -- -- you can tell me just about everybody you know right this -- secretary I have to leave it -- -- some -- lose my job and I want to keep my -- so I can talk to you all the time and really great being with -- -- -- a great seeing you as elegant look forward to -- you very soon -- we find out about -- -- those appointments.
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