Obama faces lesser pressure to appoint a cabinet that looks like America

November 12th, 2008 - 3:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Nov 12 (ANI): President elect Barack Obama would face less pressure for a diverse cabinet that his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W Bush followed to appoint a cabinet that looks like America.

They appointed women and minorities for high-ranking positions and overseeing an administration more diverse than any that had come before it.

But Obama is not under undue pressure is the answer supplied by a group of prominent African-Americans.

Having a team of varied faces is preferable and in keeping with Obamas pledge to represent all Americans but these veteran black politicians and public officials say the president-elect should tap into the best talent available without taking a head-counting approach, in which slots are determined by demographics and symbolism trumps substance, Politico reported.

To some degree, Obamas election is so historic that he is post-racial when it comes to choosing those who will work most closely with him.

He will assemble a Cabinet that I think reflects a modern-day array of talent. I dont think he has any special obligation to play the quota game to have so many blacks and so many whites, said Rep. Artur Davis, the Alabama Democrat.

Its a potentially dicey decision. Obama campaigned around the notion that old divisions should be consigned to the past, a belief his election underscores, Politico said.

But he also won with overwhelming support from black Americans and is the very embodiment of the hopes and dreams of that community. To surround himself with a mostly white coterie of top advisers could turn off African-Americans.

To see Obamas transition team and the group of economic advisers that stood behind him at his first news conference Friday in Chicago, it seems likely that a man of Kansas, Kenya, Hawaii, Indonesia and Chicago will appoint a team that reflects the diversity of his own extended family and unique life.

Not surprisingly, though, there is some disagreement in the black political community as to exactly what steps Obama should take and just how important it is to present a racially diverse administration to the country.

Its less of a demand because of the history that hes making in that office personally, said Mike Espy, a moderate who was the first black congressman in Mississippi in over a century and served as agriculture secretary under Clinton. (ANI)

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