After a flurry of recent cabinet and "cabinet level" selections by President Obama and two more major picks to go, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton continue to lead the nation's first Black President in African American cabinet picks. The current totals for cabinet selections for the last three Presidents are:
George W. Bush (8 years): 4 -- Powell, Rice, Paige, Jackson
Bill Clinton (8 years): 7 -- Espy, J. Brown, O'Leary, R. Brown, Herman, Slater, West
Barack Obama (4 years, 2 months): 1 -- Holder
The President recently selected former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, former Sen. John Kerry to be Secretary of State and John Brennan to be Director of the CIA. On Monday, President Obama announced he is selecting Gina McCarthy to be head of the EPA, Ernest Moniz to be head of the Department of Energy and Walmart Foundation head Sylvia Burwell to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Those who have been critical of President Obama on diversity regarding gender may have been quieted by the number of women who have been recently selected. With almost four years to go and five female picks so far, President Obama may end up with more women in his cabinet than any other President in history. By appointing six women over eight years, President George W. Bush has selected more women than any President in history.
But President Obama has selected only one African American to his cabinet so far, the lowest number of any President in 38 years.
Robert Weaver was selected as the first African-American to hold a Cabinet position after President Johnson appointed him to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 1966. The first African American to serve in a Republican cabinet was William Coleman, Jr. after President Gerald Ford picked him to serve as Transportation Secretary. President Jimmy Carter selected the first African American female to serve in a cabinet with his selection of Patricia Harris to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon had no African Americans in their cabinet. Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford appointed only one. But President Obama's two immediate predecessors, both of whom served two full terms -- Clinton and Bush -- appointed 12 African Americans in total to their cabinets.
President Clinton selected seven African Americans, the most of any president in history, to serve in his cabinet. President Bush selected four over eight years.
Source: Politic365.com | Lauren Victoria Burke