Arnold as U.S. transportation secretary? Talk about karma!

Jan. 2, 2013

By Chris Reed

A little more than a year ago, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood surprised the inside-the-Beltway set by telling a Chicago reporter who asked if he would come back for a second Obama term that it was unlikely. I sure didn’t hear about it at the time from the California media, but in November, whom did the National Journal speculate might succeed LaHood, an Illinois Republican who is the only GOPer in the Cabinet?

Fellow “moderate Republican” Arnold! The key initial enabler of the California bullet-train boondoggle replacing the key overseer of the White House attempt to prop up the California bullet-train with promises of vast future federal funding! How cosmically tidy.

I don’t think it’s going to happen. Schwarzenegger’s renewed film career is doing fine. He’s got two action movies coming out in the next few months, one of which, “Ten,” is with a rising-star director (the guy who wrote “Training Day” and the original “Fast and Furious” and wrote/directed the recent, riveting “End of Watch”). And I just don’t think Arnold wants to spend 250 days a year in Washington D.C. That he flew home almost every night from Sacramento says a lot about his devotion to his Brentwood compound.

But it could have been the mostly deeply enjoyable spectacle a bullet-train hater could envision. The federal government is not going to keep funding our folly. House Republicans are less likely to vote to borrow tens of billions to keep California’s fiasco alive than they are to vote to make “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” the new national anthem.

For the federal government to pull the plug on California’s debacle while Schwarzenegger was secretary of transportation? Wow. I’d have watched Arnold’s pleading with House GOPers on C-SPAN with a glee approaching rapture.

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