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Rangel: 'Embarrassing' lack of diversity in Obama cabinet
January 10th, 2013
01:09 PM ET

Rangel: 'Embarrassing' lack of diversity in Obama cabinet

By , CNN

(CNN) – As President Barack Obama finalizes his cabinet picks heading into his second term, some are pointing to a noted lack of diversity among the select group.

And Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel says "it's embarrassing as hell." The congressman from New York pulled no punches Thursday when he chided the White House for not picking more women and minorities for the top level positions.

"The questions I've heard are fair," he said on MSNBC. "The record does speak for itself."

Obama's cabinet: Who's in, who's out?

Obama will nominate Jack Lew, his chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary on Thursday, and CNN has learned the likely contenders for his replacement at the White House are all men. This comes days after the president nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State, and John Brennan, chief homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, to lead the CIA.

Read the full post on CNN's Political Ticker blog
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Filed under: 2012 Election • Diversity • Gender • How we live • Politics
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. James Whipple

    I think it would help the nation greatly for the president to appoint Dr. Ben Carson to his cabinet. It would bring the diversity needed. jpw

    March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CitizenJP

    While representation in Congress ideally should look like America in principle, I am not sure the same thing necessarily should hold true for the Executive Branch of our Govt. The president is going to pick who he believes is the best person for the job not because of his race but because of his/her ability for that job and I like to think that is what President Obama is doing. It is not about who the executives are but what gets executed that makes the real difference. That said, ideally I would like to see the Executive Branch looking more like America than less like it.

    January 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. drc

    Wow the picks people he thinks can do the job and its a problem.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle Hendricks

      I must say that today was a great revelation and that my earlier quotes and tantrums were hushed. Today was a day of equality. Reflections made by Obama regarding "Selma riots, Stonewall, and Seneca Falls was an assurance for me that change is coming whether I want to recognize it or not.

      Good job Obama on continuing the fight for Civil Rights/equal rights in the United States, where Martin Luther King left off. Oh how I understand your method.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jorge

    Obama's not dumb. He knows what a fluke it is, relative to the American score card on race relations and discrimination, for a native son of Hawaii with Black African blood to have made the White House (which has enraged a lot of covert race supremacists within government and without), so he wasn't about to press his luck during his first term, something I can understand. I do admire his successful nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, a five-star justice and fellow Boricua, to the U.S. Supreme Court, though. Before that, if you would have told me that a woman descended from poverty and Puerto Rican parents would be allowed to make the highest court in the nation, I would have laughed bitterly and asked you "In what universe?"

    January 16, 2013 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sunshine100

    At this posting, only 8 people responded to the article? What the H*ll is wrong with you, Barack Obama? Would your current action (nominating only white males) please your mother? She had more courage than you'll ever have. I resent and reserve my rights to oppose you and your actions. This from 50 years as a believer in the party of the people – a true-blood, staunch Democrat.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle Hendricks

      I agree! I'm sure that their are very/overtly qualified and female, but will this nation ever have the courage of letting go of the past and moving forward with new ideas? This is a new day. Out of all the Political fights we've recently had, women still seem to be placed on the back burner.

      January 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim

    hahahahaha! the true Obama comes out! Hope you are all happy!

    January 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunshine100

      Hey, Timmy. Yes, I am very disappointed with President Obama's cabinet nominations. Slam-to-the-ground unhappy. However, you and I know that at no time did any Republican foresee this action.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EC

    I agree with Rangel. It is indeed embarrassing.... To elect mainly white males sends a message that he could not find equally qualified persons (women, minorities) to be in his cabinet. HIs cabinet should reflect the make up of the workforce in our society today, assuming these people are qualified. Message to the President: How quickly you forget the groups that were pivotal in your re-election efforts.

    January 13, 2013 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • DH

      You can vote for him but you can't be hired by him. I guess even your prez knows that after years of AA, PCness, diversification of the masses and pandering to minorities; you can dump all the money you want in an HBCU and you still won't get 1 qualified candidate. That is, if you want the work to be done competently.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Danielle Hendricks

    Dear Mr. President:

    After what Africans along with Americanized Africans had to suffer through during slavery and yet still continues to tread through the ideas of racism and discrimination, when trying to achieve the so-called "American Dream." I'm embarrassed but most of all hurt about Obama's cabinet picks for 2013, close to 200 years after a deep rooted oppresion. Picking a Republican doesn't live up to my definition of diversity. Were there any qualified Black Republicans available? I would want a Black Democrat instead, but you didn't even do that. Your cabinet is full of White men. Wow! We voted for you Obama, can we finally get a vote, so we can count for something.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. SRasso

    So... then... since quality is more important than diversity, are the two mutually exclusive? i.e. Are the only qualified people for these positions white males?

    January 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DH

      Maybe the best persons are Hispanic women, who knows? But if you base your requirements on diversity (hire blacks) then you get what you pay for. If you base your requirements on qualifications then everyone wins.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bubba

    BC all the smart ones are Republicans.

    January 11, 2013 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bruce Eder

    I used to live in Charlie Rangel's district, and can safely say that DH is more or less correct in his assessment of Rangel's real meaning, though a little crude in his thinking and terminology. As to why anyone would take complaints by Rangel - one of the biggest crooks in Congress (and boy is that saying something) - about ANYTHING is a question that CNN's editorial staff will have to answer.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DH

    Diversity...code word for hire more blacks. What Rangel means is 'we got a black looking prez, why doesn't he load his cabinet with brothers and sisters?'. Screw qualifications, what color are you?

    January 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gi Jon

    Whatever happened to hiring who's most qualified it's been to much of we need more diversity no we need quality

    January 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunshine100

      Hey, GI. Can't it be remotely, just a teeny tiney bit possible, to have a cabinet member who is very/overly qualified and female, of any color, any U.S. citizen of any culture and race? The Women's Movement just was kicked back to the 1950s! President Obama is so very very misguided and rejecting of 51% of the population of the United States. We will remember this action come 2016.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • DH

        "We will remember this action come 2016"? Are you serious? What, are you not gonna vote for obummer again? You and your ilk had your chance to do the right thing on November 6th and you blew it in a cosmically proportional way. Suck it up and dance sweetheart. This is the party you wanted.

        January 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |