Why Caterpillar? Obama's big infrastructure initiative, of course! Someone's got to build all those highways or whatever, and the Caterpillar corporation is located in LaHood's district! Hooray for LaHood and his pork!
Anyway. LaHood spent a couple years on the Transportation committee (probably?) and many years on the super-important Appropriations Committee and he's got a solidly Republican-centrist voting record and he's best friends with Rahm Emanuel.
It is annoying that Transportation was handed off to a token Republican who is friends with Rahm Emanuel and not given to some sort of exciting visionary bullet-train expert. We hoped Biden would push for that, maybe. Look, we just want bullet-trains, ok?
All that's left to appoint is Labor, where, obv, a token Republican would not really work out.