LaHood, a long-time staff aide to the affable then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.) who took his boss's seat when Michel retired, was elected along with a tide of Republicans led by Newt Gingrich. But he did not follow the same highly partisan path that characterized the class elected with him.
Among those LaHood maintained a friendly relationship with over the years is White House chief of staff- designate Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), whose aggressive style infuriated many Republicans but whom LaHood praised publicly for competence and pragmatism.
LaHood is probably best-known for presiding over the impeachment vote of Bill Clinton. If selected,
he would join Robert Gates LaHood, a Republican, would help Obama fufill his promises of bipartisanship.*
(*Although Gates has served under Bush, he's not a registered Republican. My mistake.)