Talk:Ray LaHood

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Lahoud and not LaHood[edit]

I am Lebanese and Lahoud is a very well known catholic family in Lebanon and is written Lahoud not LaHood. I dont know whether Ray LaHood chose to write his name like that (like Robin Hood or a French aristocratic surname de LaHood hehehe) but just for the sake of the real family in Lebanon and how we write our name here it is Lahoud.

Vandalism?[edit]

Someone posted 'he cheted on his wife when he was 27' in the body of the article. I dunno how to change it. It seems inappropriate, even if true, to have it be there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.73.41.187 (talk) 14:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

"Registered" Republican[edit]

Is LaHood still a resident of Illinois? This article calls him the "first registered Republican in Obama's Cabinet," but Illinois does not register voters by party. (http://www.elections.state.il.us/Downloads/VotingInformation/PDF/R-19.pdf) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.161.255.78 (talk) 02:25, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Lahood still lives in Illinois, however the paragraph is indeed incorrect. You cannot register by party in Illinois.


Republican "Member"[edit]

If Illinois does not register it's republicans and LaHood is "retired" then what qualifies him as an actual member of the republican party. Would it just be more accurate to say something such as "former republican congressman LaHood" or perhaps just "Republican LaHood". As for Gates, he is definitely not a member of the Republican party, he is a registered Independent so saying that LaHood is 1 of 2 Republican members is not at all accurate, as it appears perhaps neither are "members" of the Republican party and Gates is definitely not a member. Furthermore, while it is true that Gates has said that he considers himself a Republican he his actually a registered Independent, which means he is an Independent and not a Republican, right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Im fat08 (talkcontribs) 14:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone actually know where Robert Gates is registered to vote? Many people who live in states where voters cannot register by party consider themselves independents by default. The real question in these states is whether someone consistently votes in the Republican primary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.161.255.78 (talk) 03:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

LaHood criticism[edit]

When adding new material relating to critics' reception of the LaHood nomination for US Transportation Secretary, please develop it in the body of the article so that the lead can provide for a summary of the article topics. Thanks. Switzpaw (talk) 06:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Confirmed?[edit]

It sounds like LaHood was confirmed by acclamation yesterday, but I wasn't watching C-SPAN and I can't independently verify the vague conclusions of some of the media reports I've been reading. I've made the edits to indicate that he's been confirmed, unless anyone can produce anything that says he still has yet to be confirmed. It's kind of a confusing situation, exacerbated by the fact that no one really cares about the confirmation hearings for the Secretary of Transportation aside from the kind of junkies like me who go around editing Wikipedia pages for minor Cabinet officials.--Kudzu1 (talk) 15:59, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Gates' Republican affiliation[edit]

Well and good to say that Robert Gates is not registered with a political party—something the CIA prefers—though I would be interested to see more than hearsay as a citation on that. But Wikipedia's own article on Gates acknowledges that "Gates was an active member and president of the Alpha Phi Omega (the national service fraternity) Chapter and the Young Republicans", the latter being "an organization for members of the Republican Party of the United States between the ages of 18 and 40". He was nominated for government jobs by two Republican presidents. In fact, Gates was named as one of the Republican members of the Iraq Study Group. So I'm not the only one for whom Robert Gates adds up to a Republican. Having said all that, I have nothing against the man holding the job of Defense Secretary in the Obama administration. And I certainly don't have anything against people who choose not to affiliate with a political party. But Robert Gates is affiliated with the Republican party (defined as "to connect or associate (oneself) with an organization, movement, etc.") even if it is a fact that he is not registered as a voter with them. Abrazame (talk) 00:58, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Arab/Lebanese[edit]

Please do not remove the word "Lebanese". If someone wishes to place the phrase "Arab American" in the article, add it elsewhere, but not at the expense of the specificity of his father's heritage. This is not some agenda, Danny Thomas was Lebanese for crying out loud (remember the Golden Girls episode?!). As such, Danny Thomas was also an Arab American. Marlo Thomas, That Girl, shares that heritage. Nothing about any of this is new, taboo or some sort of conspiracy.

While it is either man's right to choose whether and when to refer to themselves broadly ("Arab American") or specifically ("Lebanese American"), and while Wikipedia should honor the man's self-identification (as in the issue of whether Barack Obama is primarily noted as being biracial or African American), it is common in mentioning parentage to specify the country or countries of birth or heritage. Just as "European American" or "Asian American" is not informative enough, "Arab American" does not include specific enough information to be useful.

A good way to use the phrase "Arab American" for anyone who might like to add the phrase would be to note that he "...became the (third) Arab American to serve in the U.S. Senate", or some such thing. (I don't have the accurate data on that, and of course such a statement should be referenced.) Abrazame (talk) 01:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

"Republican" redux[edit]

As Robert Gates is Republican at Robert Gates, so he is Republican at Ray LaHood. It is one's personal ideology that determines whether a person is or is not Republican, not a piece of paper. One expresses one's ideology in their personal conduct, in their statements, in the causes they support, and indeed in the voting booth by supporting the candidates of that party when they are the best choice, and not merely by a one-time registration. If you don't register your car, it's still a car. If you don't get a license before you drive that car, you are still a driver. When a notable public official states that they are one thing or another, I'd say it takes a good bit of reliable sourcing to mitigate such a thing in Wiki bios, and it is not up to the whim or ideologies of editors at Wikipedia to reduce that statement by calling the individual a fan or sympathizer of Republicans, as User:Zsero apparently mocked in the edit summary for his most recent edit to this article. Gates is not some outside observer, or some impotent fence-sitter, he is an American who has declared his political affiliation and who has the right to be taken at his word on that in the absence of compelling contradictory evidence.

The article referenced for this fact, by the Associated Press, from Dec. 2, 2008, upon having been tapped by Obama to remain in his post (and so directly related to this point), is not vague.

"Gates also cleared up confusion about his political affiliation. During his tenure at the CIA, he said, he thought he should be apolitical so he did not register with a political party. But, he added, 'I consider myself a Republican.'"

The AP accepts this definitive and clear assertion of his political affiliation as Republican. No doubt George W. Bush, who was not ambivalent on the issue of ideology, knew of and accepted Gates' Republican credentials. Wikipedia's Robert Gates bio acknowledges this and Wiki's Republican Party (United States) acknowledges that self-identification is relevant to its definition in that article's lead. The POV of a Wikipedia editor such as User:Zsero does not supersede all of this. Like it or not, from whatever your perspective, President Obama nominated LaHood and kept on Gates and renominated Ben Bernanke, three vastly different individuals with vastly different heritage and backgrounds, heading vastly different organizations in the Obama Administration at the pleasure of President Obama, who are all Republicans. Not one, but three. To call LaHood the only Republican, with whatever qualifiers, is against both the fact and the spirit of the fact of the bipartisanship at the highest levels of the Obama Administration (if noplace else). This should not be about whatever awkward qualifiers we have to add to the sentence to make LaHood singular in some aspect of his Republicanism viz a viz the Obama Administration, but about the facts and the spirit of the facts of what the sentence is conveying. Those facts are clear and referenced and fly in the face of Zsero's edits, which obfuscate the points I have raised and are accepted in other articles as I have noted. These facts are relevant to the biographies of all four of these men, and should be presented in the proper context.

Prior to my re-adding the information in the proper context, I invite a discussion of semantics about how best to properly represent these facts. Abrazame (talk) 07:47, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

The Republican Party is not an ideology, it is an organisation. One is either affiliated with it or one is not. Someone who has a registered account on Wikipedia is a Wikipedian; someone who merely thinks WP is a good idea and wishes it well is not. A person can claim to be a Yankee all he likes, but unless he has some formal affiliation with them he's merely a fan. Ray Lahood is a member of the Republican Party. Robert Gates used to be one, and he claims to still be a supporter, but he severed all formal affiliation because he felt he ought to be "apolitical" while at the CIA, and has not changed that status since.
By the way, I'm astonished at your claim that "supporting the candidates of that party when they are the best choice" constitutes affiliation with a party. How does that demonstrate partisanship? On the contrary, a partisan will tend to support his party's candidates even when he thinks they're not the best choice, simply because they are the party's candidates. In Gates's case, of course, we have no indication of his supporting any candidates. -- Zsero (talk) 18:53, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
The conservative-leaning Wall Street Journal article cited in this article is a WP:Reliable source with a good deal of political savvy and more than a neophyte's or outside observer's take on descriptors of party and ideology; they acknowledged the bipartisan effort by the president in noting that Ray LaHood was Obama's second Republican pick, following Robert Gates. This wasn't a typo or a casual comment, it was the second entire paragraph of the article; they were taking the time and space to make a point — as was the president — and that point should not be shunted from an encyclopedia in deference to the reaction by some partisans who may not wish to see such heterogeneous equanimity.
By the way, I was addressing the responsible expression of personal ideology, not blind partisanship, when I wrote, "One expresses one's ideology in their personal conduct, in their statements, in the causes they support, and indeed in the voting booth by supporting the candidates of that party when they are the best choice, and not merely by a one-time registration." People from outside the president's party are picked for his administration because they are not partisan, in the sense of putting party first and what is best for the country second, as I'm sure you understand. Ultimately this is about what the reliable sources state as fact and not about what people of both — or neither — party may see or wish to portray. Abrazame (talk) 06:25, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Fwiw, Mr Gates lived for some time during his CIA career on Paisley Blue Ct, Vienna, VA (from at least the mid 1980s, possibly even 1978, at least through his tenure as DCI.) There is no party registration of Virginia voters. And it's unlikely he ever joined the Fairfax County Republican Committee.
--AndersW (talk) 16:30, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

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Copyright cleanup[edit]

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