Biden mulls appointing Rahm Emanuel to Transportation Department – report

President-elect Joe Biden is considering nominating former White House chief of staff and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to head the Transportation Department, Axios reported early Monday morning.While it isn’t clear if Emanuel will be officially nominated, it does come at a time when the department is set to have an increasingly prevalent role, as drone-delivery programs and smart city constructions give the post further economic weight, Axios reported.According to sources, it seems mayors are the most talked-about contenders for the post, with other names in the conversation including former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, Atlanta’s Lance Bottoms and Los Angeles’s Eric Garcetti. No official announcement will be made for quite some time, as according to Axios, the picks for the Defense and Justice departments come first. Rumors of a potential cabinet position for Emanuel have been making the rounds since early November, and have sparked anger among some progressives. This includes New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said then that appointing Emanuel would “signal… a hostile approach to the grassroots and the progressive wing of the party,” according to The New York Times.This controversy stems from how much the former Chicago mayor is disliked by racial justice advocates due to his handling of the police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014, because he refused to release dashboard camera footage until a year later, after his reelection, The Forward reported.In addition, Emanuel would not be the only member of his family tapped by Biden. Earlier in the month, the president-elect tapped Emanuel’s older brother, renowned oncologist and bioethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, to sit on his coronavirus task force. This decision was also met with controversy, however, due to his controversial views on aging.

The sons of Jerusalem-born pediatrician Benjamin M. Emanuel, who fought as part of Menachem Begin’s Irgun in pre-state Israel, the Emanuel brothers are no strangers to controversy, with the third brother, renowned Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, having faced accusations of racism and homophobia.Aaron Reich contributed to this report.

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