Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, December 13, 2016
The four most influential cabinet positions in Donald Trump’s administration will be held by white men, assuming they make it through the Senate confirmation process.
Trump named ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to the Department of State today, rounding out a foursome that already had Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions on deck for attorney general, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis at Defense and hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin at Treasury.
The president to appoint white men to the top of his cabinet was one-termer George H.W. Bush, CNN reported on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama’s first cabinet had a black man, Attorney General Eric Holder, and a woman, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in top positions. It has one woman at the top now, Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to serve as attorney general.
Colin Powell, the retired general who became secretary of state, was the only non-white male in a position in a position of significant influence in George W. Bush’s administration.
Trump’s cabinet is not devoid of women and minorities. Ben Carson has been appointed to Housing and Urban Development. Nikki Haley, the first Indian-American woman to lead a state, will be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Taiwan-born Elaine Chao has been tapped to serve as Transportation secretary, and the Senate is expected to confirm Betsy DeVos to Education secretary. WWE’s Linda McMahon will take over the Small Business Administration.
Seema Verma, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has been selected to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of HHS that has a signifcant hand in Obamacare.
Of the 17 names Trump has submitted for cabinet and senior staff positions, aside from his vice president, 13 are men and 14 are white. None of them are Latino.
All of Trump’s national security posts will be held by men, too, aside from deputy national security adviser. He’s named K.T. McFarland to that position.
Gen. John Kelly will take over the helm at DHS, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will be national security adviser and Mattis will run the Dept. of Defense.
Obama made a concerted effort to promote persons of color and women to high-ranking positions.
In addition to Lynch, Obama’s education secretary, John King, is black. So is his Department of Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson.
Both of Obama’s Health and Human Service secretaries, Kathleen Sebelius and Sylvia Burwell, were women. His HUD Secretary Julian Castro is Hispanic.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez and his predecessor Hilda Solis were Latino. Interior Secretary Sally Jewel is a woman. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is black, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is a woman.
Trump is said to be looking at Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior, potentially adding another woman to his ranks. Politico said Tuesday that he asked Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to do the job but the congressman has not said whether he intends to accept the offer.
The president-elect is set to formally announce his intent to nominate Rick Perry to Energy, as well.
Agriculture and Veterans Affairs are still blank. He hasn’t named a press secretary, Office of Management and Budget head, U.S. Trade Representative or Council of Economic Advisers Chairman, either.