While doing a fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, I sat down for a chat with Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman who represented Illinois’ 18th congressional district for 14 years before becoming President Obama’s secretary of transportation in 2009.

We begin our conversation with LaHood’s take on why the increasing polarization between the two political parties is creating a dysfunctional Washington. You can watch the full five and a half minute interview or see his answers to each of my questions by going to the time codes in the video:

  • 1:15: How has he seen politics and policymaking change over his 25 plus years in Washington?
  • 2:30: How much is President Obama responsible for poisoning the well between Republicans and Democrats?
  • 3:30: Would Washington be a better place with more people like Heritage President Jim DeMint?
  • 4:30: Based on the current crop of 2016 candidates, is he hopeful about America’s future?