Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty critical of President-Elect Obama’s Cabinet picks. Perhaps I’ve been a little unjustly critical, but time will tell how justified I was in my criticsm. But one thing is certain: with the balance of blacks, latinos, and women in Obama’s crew, diversity was never the issue with the picks; unless, of course, you’re a member of the Congressional Black Causus. By their estimation, President-Elect Obama didn’t paint the White House black enough:
Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are disappointed President-elect Obama did not appoint more African-Americans to his Cabinet.
Obama tapped four blacks for Cabinet posts, including Eric Holder. If confirmed, Holder will be the first African-American attorney general.
But Obama passed over black candidates in selecting Cabinet nominees for positions central to setting policy for urban America, such as the departments of Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development.
Hispanic Americans, by contrast, have been nominated for three Cabinet positions, and politicians from that constituency have hailed Obama’s nominations.
“Did the African-American community probably expect more appointees at that level? Probably so,” said Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), an early Obama supporter who has expressed an interest in filling Obama’s vacant Senate seat.
Davis said he was pleased with Obama’s Cabinet, but confirmed that there is some angst within the CBC.
“On balance, I’d say a great deal of thought went into the shaping of this Cabinet,” Davis told The Hill. “And he ended up with a real rainbow. But some people, sure, thought there should be a bit more color in it.”
Another senior member of the CBC who requested anonymity said more pointedly that Obama “isn’t doing enough for the black folks.”
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, it seems.
From my perspective, the CBC has long been considered irrelevant. In direct result, I have all but ignored their antics as of late. But this story takes the cake. In their zealous efforts to point out the absense of black people in Obama’s cabinet, they conveniently forget that this is one of the most diverse Presidential teams to date. Looking at some of the faces in Obama’s crowd, you would think the old white male in Washington was extinct. Besides that, Obama is in the position to even select a cabinet in the first place because a diverse group of people saw fit to support him. His picks are a clear reflection of that. Yet somehow, the CBC lost sight of that.
With friends like these, who needs Republicans?