Six Obama Cabinet Picks Confirmed

Six of President Barack Obama's cabinet picks were confirmed today. They are:

Energy Secretaru Steven Chu
Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano

Secretary Of The Interior Ken Salazar
Veterans Affairs Dierector Gen. Eric Shinseki and

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Also confirmed: Peter Orszag, to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

Hillary Clinton will be confirmed tomorrow following debate. As Big Tent Democrat notes, Sen. Cornyn of Texas objected to her being in the unanimous consent group. She is expected to pass easily.

Also not up for a vote today: Attorney General nominee Eric Holder.

< Cornyn Blocks Confirmation Of Clinton As Secretary Of State | Commander in Chiefs Ball: Bon Jovi >
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    I was wondering if an Obama supporter (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:17:47 PM EST
    (I mean a reall full blooded one, not a "well he's my President now" type) could give me a plausible reason why Obama picked so few women to be in his Cabinet and Cabinet level posts. 20% (depending upon who gets Commerce) just seems so low. He's got as many Republicans as he does women.

    as many Republicans as women? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:21:52 PM EST
    I'm not getting this.  LaHood is a Republican.  Who else?  I'll even throw in Gates, although he often likes to point out he is an Independent and not a GOP member.  Is Shinsecki a Republican?  I don't know if I've read anywhere about what party he is a member of, if any.  So, let's say there are 3.  You have Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Hilda Solis, and Susan Rice (who I'm counting because I understand Obama intends to restore UN Ambassador to a Cabinet position).

    Beyond the Cabinet, you have Valerie Jarrett as a senior advisor, Mona Sutphen as one of two Deputy Chiefs of Staff, and Ellen Moran (former Exec. Dir. of EMILY's List) as Communications Director, three very important positions on the Senior Staff.


    Gates is a Republican. So that is 2 (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:36:30 PM EST
    for certain. I can't find information on Shinseki's affilitation.

    I don't know why you bring up "beyond the cabinet" as the cabinet is the most important place. And in the Cabinet there are 3 women and 11 men. In the positions that are cabinet equivalent, there are 2 women and 5 men.

    Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director are way on down the line of power and responsibility.


    Shinseki seems to be a Republican as (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:53:56 PM EST
    Put another way, this is like saying "sure (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:51:00 PM EST
    this company has a board made up with only 20% women, but we've got a bunch in middle management. What are you complaining about?!"

    also important (none / 0) (#23)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:31:30 PM EST
    Dawn Johnsen heads the OLC.

    It is possible that Obama (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:31:43 PM EST
    is being cautious to not stack it as a Cabinet of color because of his own -- I've seen, many times, women at the top take care to make the next layer of management mostly or often entirely male, for example.

    If so, it's sad.  We still have so very far to go before we can look, as you do, at qualifications first.:-)


    Yeah... (3.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:22:34 PM EST
    and Im not sure if there are any Native Americans in the cabinet, or how many Muslims are there??  Or Atheists?  What about the color blind?  Are there enough left handed people in the cabinet, or too many in ratio to the population?

    Yeah representative Democracy, what (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:24:11 PM EST
    a drag man.

    Really I was just wondering... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:28:13 PM EST
    why just stop your voiced concern with women?

    Fine, I'll take you seriously. A Native American (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:31:50 PM EST
    would actually be a good idea. So to would a Muslim or Atheist. The others you brought up are obviously trivial.

    There are only a handful of Native Americans, Muslims or Atheists in this country while more then half of it is made up of women.


    Also... (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:38:54 PM EST
    there are definitely more than just "a handful" of NAs... and at one time their were even far more...

    Well, then to be fair... (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:43:16 PM EST
    Do we know if any of the cabinet members have Native blood in them?

    That goes into... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:48:42 PM EST
    cultural identity, which I would say that there are no cabinet members (that I know of) who embrace and declare themselves as NAs, or even look like NAs, which means theyve never faced the treatment NAs have suffered - so theres no accurate representation of the culture.  

    Yes -- Clinton may be (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:57:52 PM EST
    according to genealogists, from her (mother's) French Canadian side.  Most of us with French Canadian heritage are likely to be metis.

    So we even could have had a Native American president.  So it goes.


    Sure... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:03:27 PM EST
    but I supported Hillary based off of her resolve/tenacity, not because Im also a NA (and I wouldnt have supported any NA solely or even mostly based off of that).  

    So I guess I'll just have to wait until 2016 for that to happen.


    Well... (3.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:37:08 PM EST
    I dont think being color blind is exactly trivial.  As an artist, having that condition would be devastating.

    But ultimately I share your concern that there should be more women in the Whitehouse.  Hell I think the president should be a lesbian, minority, Atheist, disabled, elderly, transsexual.  Now when that happens then we've just about reached total acceptance.

    So my point is that, while women are underrepresented and should make noise about it, lets not forget Everyone that has even less of a voice.


    I'm not making good arguments today, but (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:47:51 PM EST
    something I also need to point out is that the pool of potential women is much larger then the poll of potential NA or Muslims or Atheists so it makes even less sense for there to be so few.

    Ain't no one can tell me that Ray Lahood was such a great choice for Sec Transportation that they couldn't find a more qualified woman (or Native American for that matter). Same goes for Daschle (although he was picked because he was one of Obama's first and biggest backers) and several others.


    Like I said... (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:51:44 PM EST
    I agree with the spirit of your post, and I understand the ratio argument.  But doesnt that mean these people who have an even less population need more of a leg up in getting fair representation?  

    Also, Im of the firm belief that oppressed groups need to stick together since we're the only ones who can understand what we've gone through.


    It makes sense to say (none / 0) (#16)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:56:21 PM EST
    that people with lesser population need to be heard -- but it's simply contradictory to call for "fair representation," since that means that, say, one percent of Cabinet officers would be Native American.  And to argue for that when 51 percent of the population only is represented by a couple of Cabinet officers . . . then, how is that "fair"?

    The thought is good; the wording needs work.


    When I say fair representation... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:00:49 PM EST
    Im talking like one NA, one Asian, one Muslim, one Atheist, etc... and these could also be women, homosexual, disabled, what have you.  See you can mix and match, to eventually make it to where it was more representative of actual America.  I dont think theres a lot of real disagreement here.

    Not sure... (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:57:48 PM EST
    why this got a troll rating.  I think saying that every oppressed group should be represented in positions of power is a good thing.  How is that wrong?

    I don't think that the (none / 0) (#20)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:09:18 PM EST
    Smiths, Johnsons, Lees and Parks of the world are being proportionally represented in this cabinet.

    Thanin, you like a minority cabinet (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:27:46 PM EST
    I see -- since men are the minority in this country.

    See my above response. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Thanin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:28:40 PM EST
    Curious why you think Arne Duncan (none / 0) (#32)
    by allimom99 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:09:25 PM EST
    is a great choice. all I've seen tells me he's a big-time privatizer with no real classroom experience. His success in Chicago not much to write home about either. Maybe you know something I don't.

    Hillary will finally get her roll call vote (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:26:37 PM EST
    Leave it to Republicans to push for it :)

    Yeh, this one, I'll be watching (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:34:18 PM EST
    since I was denied a roll-call vote at the Dem convention -- for the first time.  Funny how that happened as soon as a woman got close.  (And as the Dems restored all delegates in Michigan and Florida, Clinton actually got very close . . . thus the cancellation of the roll-call vote.  So I was told by an infuriated super-delegate from a state that didn't get to cast its votes -- a longtime activist and past Congressional candidate, but not an activist for the Dems anymore.  Why bother going to all the expense and use of energy to be a delegate, to go to the convention, and then not get to do the delegate's job?)

    And since not having delegates cast votes violates the party's very purpose, plus they keep picking candidates who disagree with the party's platform.the Dems don't really exist anymore.

    But then, it's always been an uneasy coalition, so maybe Dems never really existed except on the paper of the platform, now not supported by all Dem candidates, anyway?  It's all quite confusing and just easier to be an Independent.:-)  


    Unity what? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:41:37 PM EST
    Welcome to the new post partisan era! I hope the Democrat's realize from the start that this is going to be the way it is. Republican's will try and make a battle out of everything. They're much better at it than the Democrat's.

    Oh no! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:00:04 PM EST
    Democrats can make everything a battle just as well.  It's just that Republicans are better at framing the message and winning these battles.