U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar is taking his five decades of experience in Congress to the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, where he is exploring some role as a visiting scholar, lecturer, or author.
The details haven’t been worked out. But the 18-term Minnesota Democrat, who held his last hearing Thursday as chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has long had a relationship with the Humphrey Institute and the University’s Center for Transportation Studies.
“We are talking about a relationship here,” said Lee Munnich, director of the Humphrey Institute’s State and Local Policy Program. A formal announcement is expected in several weeks.
Among the ideas under consideration are posts as a guest lecturer and seminar leader. Munnich said he’d like to see Oberstar write a book about his experiences in Washington, which span back to the John F. Kennedy administration.
Oberstar, known as “Mr. Transportation” in Congress, is widely considered an expert on transportation and aviation safety. He is rumored to have been considered for the job of Transportation Secretary in the Obama administration.
After his unexpected loss to GOP newbie Chip Cravaack, the 76-year-old Iron Ranger is known to be looking for another way to remain in public service.
In a recent interview, Oberstar swore off the usual post-congressional lobbying gig. “There has to be some other way to do good,” he said.
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