|As President Barack Obama selects his second-term Cabinet, all eyes are on the big departments -- State, Treasury, Defense and Justice. Yet he can set the tone for his new term with changes in a less-likely place: the Department of Transportation.
The current secretary, Ray LaHood, is probably stepping down in 2013, and Obama's signature transportation policy, a national high-speed-rail network, is in disarray. The president's original goal was to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years, but so far only California's increasingly embattled system is scheduled for completion by then.
High-speed-rail lines in Wisconsin and Florida were canceled by the states' Republican governors, and Amtrak's $151 billion plan to bring real bullet trains to the Northeast corridor is a nonstarter.