"In plucking his Transportation Secretary from the ranks of the GOP, Barack Obama wasn't breaking tradition but extending it. In 2000, George W. Bush tapped Democrat Norman Mineta for the post-the lone cross-aisle appointment of his Administration. There's reason to believe LaHood - a veteran Illinois pol who counts Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, as a close friend - will play far more than a token role in the incoming Democratic regime. At Transportation, LaHood will shepherd the massive public works program Obama announced on Dec. 6 as the centerpiece of a plan to jumpstart the economy by creating millions of jobs. He's also a litmus test for Obama's post-partisan campaign pledges."