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MacDonald on MacDonald

Post by David Seago on April 30, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
April 30, 2007 6:11 pm

When Doug MacDonald announced his retirement as transportation secretary Friday (see his science demonstration), it brought back memories of my interview with him a few months after he took the job in 2001.

A few tidbits:

He’s commonly regarded as a champion of pavement – and in fact got a lot of concrete poured in the last six years. But when he talked to me, he described cars as a “maybe delusionally short-term device.”

On the Department of Transportation as he found it then: “I’ve never seen a place so unprepared for public inquiry.”

On the arguments for and against road-funding: “I found the politics are harder and worse than I imagined. This has near-religious overtones.”

On his own image: “You’ve got to create a persona of empathic affability.”

“Create a persona”? This genuinely affable guy, no one should forget, is a Harvard-educated lawyer.

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