Biden Resisting a Cabinet of the Fringes
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From the NYT news section:

Biden Faces Intense Pressure From All Sides as He Seeks Diverse Cabinet

The pressure on the Democratic president-elect is intense, even as his efforts to ensure ethnic and gender diversity already go far beyond those of President Trump. And it’s coming from all sides.

By Michael D. Shear and Annie Karni
Dec. 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — The head of the N.A.A.C.P. had a blunt warning for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. when Mr. Biden met with civil rights leaders in Wilmington this week.

Nominating Tom Vilsack, a secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration, to run the department again would enrage Black farmers and threaten Democratic hopes of winning two Senate runoffs in Georgia, the N.A.A.C.P. head, Derrick Johnson, told Mr. Biden.

“Former Secretary Vilsack could have a disastrous impact on voters in Georgia,” Mr. Johnson cautioned, according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The Intercept. Mr. Johnson said Mr. Vilsack’s abrupt firing of a popular Black department official in 2010 was still too raw for many Black farmers despite Mr. Vilsack’s subsequent apology and offer to rehire her.

How many black farmers are there? I never hear about any except in relationship to government pandering. This NPR articles says blacks make up 1.34% of farmers in the U.S.

The late baseball slugger Dick Allen came from a Northern farm town, Wampum, PA, but I suspect that contributed to his notorious problems getting along with people, because Northern rural blacks are so rare that they just seem weird to most Americans. Allen, who died recently at age 78 in Wampum, was a fairly high IQ Northern hick black, which is just really rare. He was a pretty interesting individual, but his personality was kind of orthogonal to everybody else’s.

Mr. Biden promptly ignored the warning. Within hours, his decision to nominate Mr. Vilsack to lead the Agriculture Department had leaked, angering the very activists he had just met with.

The episode was only one piece of a concerted campaign by activists to demand the president-elect make good on his promise that his administration will “look like America.” In their meeting, Mr. Johnson and the group also urged Mr. Biden to nominate a Black attorney general and to name a White House civil rights “czar.”

Civil rights and czars just go together …

Did Trump ever appoint anybody the Czar of anything? Or did he think this 45 year old Washington tradition going back to the 1970s Energy Czar seem lame?

The pressure on the Democratic president-elect is intense, even as his efforts to ensure ethnic and gender diversity already go far beyond those of President Trump, who did not make diversity a priority and often chose his top officials because they looked the part.

As opposed to making them look like America?

And it is coming from all sides.

When Mr. Biden nominated the first Black man to run the Pentagon this week, women cried foul. L.G.B.T.Q. advocates are disappointed that Mr. Biden has not yet named a prominent member of their community to his cabinet. Latino and Asian groups are angling for some of the same jobs.

… But the rollout of Mr. Biden’s cabinet and White House picks has created angst among many elements of the party. While some say he appears hamstrung by interest groups, others point out that his earliest choices included four white men who are close confidants to serve as chief of staff, secretary of state, national security adviser and his top political adviser, leaving the impression that for the administration’s most critical jobs Mr. Biden planned to rely on the same cadre of aides he has had for years.

I’m shocked, shocked to learn that for the administration’s most critical jobs Mr. Biden planned to rely on the same cadre of aides he has had for years.

“Added consternation,” the leader of one advocacy group in Washington said of Mr. Biden’s initial picks.

Glynda C. Carr, the president of Higher Heights for America, a political action committee dedicated to electing progressive Black women, said there was a feeling of defeat that Mr. Biden had not awarded key jobs in his cabinet to Black women, as the group had hoped.

How long until the New York Times starts capitalizing the W in “women” when it comes after “Black?” Their rules for capitalization appears insufficiently reverential for the peak of the Intersectional Heap: “Black Women but not white women …”

Susan Rice, a Black woman who was United Nations ambassador and national security adviser in the Obama administration, had been seen as a candidate for secretary of state. Instead, she will become the director of Mr. Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. Representative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, another Black woman, was passed over for secretary of agriculture, the job she and her allies had pushed for, and instead was nominated to be secretary of housing and urban development.

Both the state and agriculture jobs went to white men instead.

… Women’s groups were also disappointed by Mr. Biden’s decision to pick General Austin for defense secretary instead of Michèle Flournoy, a longtime senior Pentagon official who had been seen as the leading contender for the job for months.

It did not help Mr. Biden’s case with women that he also chose Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, as the health and human services secretary over Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, who was singled out as a likely candidate for the job just days before she was passed over.

Picking General Austin also did not assuage civil rights leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is adamant about the need for a Black attorney general, or at least someone with a background on voting rights enforcement. …

Mr. Sharpton has also been clear about who he will not accept. He said Black activists would not support any position for Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama whose legacy as mayor of Chicago he condemns because of Mr. Emanuel’s handling of the killing of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, in 2014 by a police officer. …

As Mr. Biden mulls his choices for interior secretary, a coalition of Democrats, Native Americans, liberal activists and Hollywood celebrities is pressing him to appoint Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico, a Native American, instead of Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico and a longtime friend of Mr. Biden’s.

You know, maybe, Joe wants a Cabinet full of his old pals for if and when the VP tries to get the Cabinet to throw him out under the 25th Amendment?

Joe doesn’t sound happy with AOC’s criticism:

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