WASHINGTON – Rahm Emanuel’s chances of reaching a top cabinet position in Joe Biden’s administration seem increasingly unlikely after the former Chicago mayor emerged as the source of controversy for the president-elect who considered Emanuel as transportation secretary, a person who was with the matter is familiar, said The Associated Press.
Emanuel, who ran for the cabinet position from among several candidates, appeared to slide down the list in the past two weeks after progressive leaders including New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the prospect of being nominated for the post, said Person 10th of December. Those concerns have deepened in recent days, particularly after Rev. Al Sharpton raised similar concerns during a meeting with Biden and other civil rights leaders, the person said.
The person was not authorized to publicly discuss private deliberations and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
A decision has not yet been finalized, and the momentum could change as Biden builds his cabinet to ensure diverse leadership among the top echelons of his administration.
Other factors could also influence Emanuel’s eventual selection, as Biden put a premium on building a cabinet and a team of senior advisors from diverse backgrounds, according to those familiar with transition considerations. The dynamism, perhaps more so than the opposition of the progressives to him, is an important factor in whether Biden finally calls on Emanuel to enter the administration in a cabinet role, according to two people who are familiar with deliberations and who spoke on condition of anonymity.
An announcement from the transportation secretary is not believed to be imminent.
Representatives of the Biden transition and of Emanuel declined to comment.
Emanuel, a former congressman who also served as former President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff in the White House, has been a major force in Democratic Party politics for the past three decades. Progressives and civil rights activists, however, criticized his handling of the high profile death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager killed by a white officer while serving as Chicago mayor.
Emanuel’s allies have drawn attention to his extensive work with transportation issues as a top priority as Mayor of Chicago, including revitalizing the city’s public transportation system and overhauling the city’s two worn-out airports. Emanuel is also credited with making Chicago one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country during his tenure.
The Allies have also argued that because of his extensive experience and knowledge of Congress, Emanuel would be in a unique position to lead the division that includes the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and others belong.
The new secretary would inherit an agency at a time when the aviation industry has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and many airlines are turning to massive job cuts.
The selection would also be responsible for ensuring that priorities that have been going on for years are implemented, including ensuring that railroads in the U.S. implement a critical cruise control technology known as positive train control, which federal safety investigators nearly five on crowd for decades. The Associated Press reported in 2017 that accidents that federal officials believed could have been prevented by positive train control resulted in nearly 300 deaths and thousands of injuries, as well as nearly $ 400 million in property damage.
Emanuel was among a number of candidates considered for America’s top transportation post, including New York Transit Manager and former Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg – a major proponent of positive train control in the Obama administration – and the former New York Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, said the person.
Two other high profile Obama-era alumni were announced as members of the Biden administration on December 10th – Denis McDonough, Secretary for Veterans Affairs and Susan Rice, Chair of the Home Affairs Council.
By Michael Balsamo and Aamer Madhani, Associated Press, with contributions from Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak in New York.