Rahm Emanuel: No Prius for Sec. Ray LaHood

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has had enough of Toyota, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel joked this week. 

Emanuel said LaHood, who has been grilled by Congress over Toyota’s recalls and criticism that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t do enough in response, would like, “anything but a Toyota Prius,” as a gift to celebrate his 2010 Statesman of the Year award from the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress. 


The White House chief of staff honored LaHood at an off-the-record dinner Tuesday night at the Ritz-Carlton, making several jokes at LaHood’s expense, according to an ITK spy. 

Emanuel told the crowd that the dinner reminded him of when he and LaHood, a former GOP House member from Illinois, used to co-host monthly private bipartisan dinners in the upstairs dining room of the Monocle. Emanuel would invite six Democrats; LaHood would invite six GOP colleagues. And while the dinners were split down the middle politically, “Ray would always let me pick up the tab,” he joked. 

Unfortunately, said Emanuel, neither he nor LaHood could stay late that night, like they would have in the old days. Emanuel said he was dashing off to help his son practice for his bar mitzvah this weekend. LaHood, he joked, still had “five more calls to make [to Democrats] on healthcare.”

The evening also featured a video tribute from President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats make gains in Georgia Senate races: poll 'Democrat-run cities' fuel the economy, keep many red states afloat Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE, and LaHood’s old friend, former Rep.-turned-lobbyist Jack Quinn, served as the emcee.