We do not think it is ever too soon. So, in the spirit of the new Presidential Primary season, we are going to give readers of this post something to think about when it comes to the most recent Primary/Caucus results.
At this writing, those results are in Iowa only, where Sen. Obama came out ahead on the Democrat side and Gov. Huckabee on the Republican.
First Obama: As a US Senator, Mr. Obama has not recently voted on any legislation that would have helped or hurt Amtrak or Passenger Rail. As a matter of fact, on most legislation of a transportation issue, Mr. Obama has not voted. Despite his high profile in Illinois with respect to additional Passenger Rail routes from Chicago to downstate Illinois, he is reported to have only supported the interests of road builders and auto dealers while in that state. He is rated very highly by interest groups that support road construction.
By the way, Mr. Obama's major thrust in supporting the reorganization of Chicago's rail map was so that motorists didn't have to idle so long at grade crossings.
Mike Huckabee has absolutely no record on transportation and/or Passenger Rail, one way or the other. Well, let's put it this way, unless you know him, you can't find out his position one way or the other by doing any reasonable on-line research. So that might as well be none. The only reference we can find in his speeches are to intermodal rail facilities, which he seems to think are good for business.
Both candidates have refused to answer questions posed on transportation and specific other issues by nationally recognized political Internet sites.
Opinion: We would say that neither of these two early front-runners will be good for Passenger Rail from an administrative point of view. (On balance, neither would do any good for it as a Senator or Congressman.) With this kind of narrow focus in our presidential candidates, is it any wonder that Passenger Rail in this country is alway in trouble?
As other candidates get jerked to the forefront by the votes of unsuspecting citizens, we will cover the positions/records of others.
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