Does Obama need Romney’s ‘binders full of women’? (Opinion)
It sounds odd hearing the first black president of the United States accused of discrimination, but that is what’s making traction in some media circles. Not only is he accused of discrimination; his appointment of a mostly white male cabinet is raising many an eyebrow.
It seems as if our president may have to borrow Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” to help him diversify, for he has conveniently forgotten who helped him get back into office. Or forgotten the "inclusiveness" preached by his own Democratic Party.
An overwhelming amount of minorities, including women, worked hard to get him re-elected, but one would never guess it looking at his newly selected inner circle.
According to the New York Times, there is Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, John Brennan nominated to head the Central Intelligence Agency, John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s chances at one of those top security positions was torpedoed before it even entered the nomination door. Republicans, led by John McCain, went on the rabid offensive, calling Rice everything from “incompetent” to “unqualified” and practically dumping the entire Benghazi tragedy on her head. The secretary of state position was gone before it was offered, and Rice made it easy on President Barack Obama and gracefully bowed out. (Read about it here.)
Critics said then that Obama should have fought harder for Rice and that he played right into the hands of the Republicans, who maybe wanted Kerry from the start. Kerry’s Senate seat for Massachusetts is now up for grabs, and the Good Ole Boys of the Grand Ole Party just may have their eyes on it for Scott Brown, who was whipped by Elizabeth Warren in the last election.
When a picture taken on Dec. 29 of Obama in the Oval Office with his senior advisors got a pounding for it showing an all-male and mostly white cast, the White House issued another photo-op with some women included. But by then it appeared so staged that the damage was already done. (To be fair, there was one woman among the 10 men, Valerie Jarrett, whose legs were the only thing barely visible. You will have to play “find it” to make out that hidden body part in the pic.)
However, the Obama administration is defending its record, reportedly saying they are better than most before him.
“The president puts a premium on making his team representative of the American people,” added Nancy D. Hogan, assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel.
During his first term, Obama was very inclusive of women. But this time around it feels like a minority freeze out. Maybe he’s collaborating with Romney—going through those binders full of women to make his next selections?
While you’re at it, throwing in a bit of “color” would also be nice, Mr. President, sir—for not only gender but ethnicity goes a long way toward diversity and does indeed represent the American people.