Black Democrats are urging Joe Biden to resist growing pressure from the left to impose an anti-Wall Street purity test on his hiring decisions if elected, warning that it threatens the party’s desire to boost diversity in powerful executive branch posts https://t.co/xtzKhWOlGH— POLITICO (@politico) September 7, 2020
The debate over whether corporate insiders should be in the mix for Cabinet positions is shaping up to be a major point of tension within the party.
By ZACHARY WARMBRODT
09/07/2020 07:00 AM EDT
Black Democrats are urging Joe Biden to resist growing pressure from the left to impose an anti-Wall Street purity test on his hiring decisions if elected, warning that it threatens the party’s desire to boost diversity in powerful executive branch posts.
Progressives have been calling on Biden to take a hard line in filling out his Cabinet, with groups such as Justice Democrats and Sunrise Movement demanding that he pledge to appoint “zero” current or former Wall Street executives or corporate lobbyists to his administration.
But Black Democrats on Capitol Hill and on K Street say that’s in direct conflict with the party’s overarching diversity goals and would keep many people of color, including those with ties to the financial world, from ascending to key positions long dominated by white males….
Black business leaders that Democrats have floated for potential Biden Cabinet positions include Roger Ferguson, the CEO of financial services giant TIAA and a onetime vice chair of the Federal Reserve, as well as John Rogers and Mellody Hobson [Mrs. George Lucas], the co-CEOs of Ariel Investments.
These are not unimpressive individuals. Rogers is from the Very Talented Tenth of One Percent: his mother was a cabinet undersecretary in two Republican presidential administrations. He has close ties to the Obamas because he and Michelle’s big brother Craig were teammates on the Princeton basketball team. I can recall reading an interview with Rogers about 30 years ago in Chicago Business about the investment strategy of the fund he started with family money and thinking he sounded sensible and realistic. Here’s the highlight of Rogers’ entire life—the Spike Lee-sized rich guy defeating Michael Jordan one-on-one at Jordan’s fantasy basketball camp for zillionaires:
More generally, a fat and happy financial sector is one that can afford to offer a lot of affirmative action jobs to elite blacks.