EDITORIAL: Obama’s new cabinet is in need of some color

Going into his second term, President Barack Obama’s staff is already seeing a lot of changes. He has nominated a new Secretary of Defense, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R–Neb.), and a new Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry (D–Mass.), and he might soon have to nominate a new head of the EPA, Treasury Secretary, Energy Secretary, and others.

It’d be nice if he could tap a few Asian Americans and women to fill his Cabinet. After all, the people leaving made up one of the most diverse Cabinets in history.

Confirmed to be leaving the Cabinet is current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Rumors of departures also include Attorney General Eric Holder and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

These departures would leave the Cabinet with only one APA member in Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and four women members with Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen Mills.

Luckily, Obama has tapped Asian and Pacific Americans before. For a plurality of his first term in office, he had three APA Secretaries, including Gary Locke, before he became the Ambassador to China, Shinseki, and Chu. Though as of yet there are no rumors of new APA nominees, Obama has recognized the talent of our community. There are also rumors of new female nominees, including former governor Chris Gregoire as Administrator of the EPA. Perhaps an Asian and Pacific American female nominee isn’t too far off? All we can say is it’d be nice if Obama’s second term cabinet had just a little bit more color. (end)

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