Taeggan Goddard flags this entertaining profile of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in yesterday's NY Times.

A couple things jump out: first, LaHood has no qualms about admitting his lack of expertise on Transportation related issues. "I don't think they picked me because they thought I'd be that great a transportation person," he tells Mark Leibovich. Adding later: "They picked me because of the bipartisan thing...and the Congressional thing, and the friendship thing."

The "friendship thing" it becomes clear, is LaHood's closeness (and loyalty) to Rahm Emanuel. The friendship is mutually beneficial: Rahm helps LaHood navigate the administrative bureaucracy, and LaHood puts aside his Republican label to lobby for the administration:
After Senator Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican, withdrew from consideration as secretary of commerce, Mr. LaHood volunteered on MSNBC that Mr. Gregg had repeatedly approached White House officials seeking the job--an assertion that led to a tense confrontation between Mr. LaHood and Mr. Gregg at the White House a few days later.

"I don't appreciate you impugning my motives," Mr. Gregg told Mr. LaHood, according to Mr. LaHood. Administration officials have said that the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, suggested Mr. Gregg for the job and that Mr. Gregg followed up with multiple calls and e-mail messages. Mr. Gregg, who has previously told reporters he did not "campaign" for the job, declined to comment for this article.

For more on LaHood's loyalty to the administration--see the last few grafs, especially--read the whole piece.