December 22nd, 2008
02:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Why some women's groups are miffed at Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A poll shows 71 percent of Americans approve of Barack Obama picking Hillary Clinton for secretary of state."] CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - What's made up of five women, four African-Americans, three Latinos, two Asians, two Republicans and a Nobel Prize winner?

The answer: President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet.

Obama is taking the big-tent approach to governing and wanted a Cabinet that stretches the tent wide.

Watch: What does it take to get a job with the Obama administration?

"I think people will feel that we followed through on our commitment to make sure that this is not only an administration that is diverse ethnically, but it's also diverse politically and it's diverse in terms of people's life experience," Obama said December 16.

It might be diverse, but not everyone is happy. Some women's groups are disappointed. Among Obama's strongest backers during the election, they now say they don't have enough seats at the table.

That's because of Obama's 20 announced Cabinet-level posts, five went to women: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary, Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Rep. Hilda Solis as labor secretary, Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador and Lisa Jackson as Environmental Protection Agency chief.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    People, please simmer down! I am so glad Obama has a mind of his own because if he did not these women groups and others would put him in an early grave. This is crazy, Obama ran for POTUS not to be the left wing Puppet of the year! Give him a chance.

    December 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Godluvr

    I'm miffed at the "miffed women!" I say: shut the hell up and be happy! No one owes you anything!

    December 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. No incumbents 2010

    There is always a need for kitchen staff.

    December 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. blaising

    I guess the "women's groups" didn't want Hillary after all.

    December 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Jimmy Carter

    Where are the Southerners?

    December 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Lauren the Designer

    And you just can't make all the people happy all the time.
    I'm a woman and I'd much rather see him pick people that are best suited for the position in question rather than based on gender. That would be sexist.

    December 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. ch

    Hillary is the star of the cabinet! There is simply no upstaging a Clinton.

    December 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Everything in Moderation

    Why wasn't the press applauding when George Bush also appointed a very diverse cabinet? Why the sudden cheerleading role? Journalism is dead.

    December 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. tired of corporate politics

    This is not surprising. Obama's campaign really stood back and enjoyed anti-woman comments and actions. Take for example the violent image of a hanged Sarah Palin. No matter what you think of her – there is no reason for a violence-against-women image.

    And look at the long list of hate and sexist language levelled against Hillary.

    And Obama stayed silent thorough all these and gave his approval with his silence. Coward!

    Women need to say NO MORE silence when women the object of hate.

    December 22, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    Get over it women..... to follow your logic, 48% of the cabinet should have been Republican.

    December 22, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Patricia in Las Vegas

    these women's groups must be made up of idiots. You appoint people who are qualified / diversified / informed....not because of their sex.

    December 22, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Beverly, NYC

    Get a life ladies he has women in his cabinet, surely you were not expecting 100% women at the table? He is surronded by estrogen in his personal and professional life, I am sure between his wife, mother-in-law, daughters, and his sentor advisor Valerie Jarrett our voices will be heard.

    December 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. But he is the "left wing puppet of the year"

    Laverne........thank you for the perfect explanation of Obama


    I couldn't have said it better myself.......Obama is going to try and please everyone who wants to be in Washington and he'll soon forget all the promises he made to those who don't live in Washington!!!!!

    He's a politician people..........he's nothing but a politician who said what you all wanted to hear!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Chris

    Hey! How come there aren't any red-headed people! I voted for the man, so he owes me at least that much!

    December 22, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Tess

    Oh please. The media is so fanatic in its quest to create a story. The majority of Americans are satisfied with Obama's cabinet picks so far, and there are many more positions in each cabinet office to be filled. During an obviously slow period, the media is scratching for anything in order to label it as "news".

    December 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Brian from Chicago

    To Kevin in Ohio, kudos!

    December 22, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. sene

    I am so sick and tired of hearing which groups are "miffed" or feeling "snubbed". Get over yourselves, women, gay's, lesbians, progressives!!! I'm a liberal person BUT I'm tired of hearing the whining coming from the far left. He is trying to be the president of EVERYONE not just a particular group. Notice a good thing when you have it and all of you just chill out!!!!

    December 22, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Carolyn

    As a female, I would certainly hope that P-E Obama would select cabinet members based on their qualifications and what they can bring to the table, not on their gender, race, political persuasion, religion, or sexual orientation. So, feminist groups, gays and lesbians, republicans, and whoever else is miffed, get over it.

    December 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Sweet Pea

    Well those Nagging, PMSing individuals will just have to live with it!

    December 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Tom Eyemdaman

    Yeah, it's more important to put women in your cabinet than to put more-qualified people there.

    People hired him to do what's best for this country, not what's best for a special-interest group (NOW).

    December 22, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Sly Domber

    Oh come on, women!!!! Y'all want every cabinet seat to be a woman? There's a woman at the helm!!!

    December 22, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. E

    Sheesh, I am a raging feminist and am not at all unhappy with his choices. He chose the MOST QUALIFIED people, sometimes the most qualified people have penises.

    There is still a long way to go before women have equal opportunities and are less judged by their looks, but I find it far more offensive that millions of rape kits remain unprocessed than I do the make-up of this cabinet.

    December 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Mickie

    I am white, 64, and a blue-collar female and I lived through many years while women were considered "property", but N.O.W. will never be happy with anything less than totality. They have always gone to the extreme and created as many if not more problems as they solved. They create animosity in the name of equality and I don't believe that is necessary. I admire the choices Obama has made and I would rather see the extremely qualified in positions at a time of crises than to pick a certain number just because they are female.

    December 22, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Bonnie

    Seems like every single pick that has been made has pissed off someone, so he must be doing something right. It also seems like it is mostly the high profile leaders or spokespersons of all these groups that are making the big deal out of every little picky thing. Looking at all the polls of the rest of us normal people it would appear we have a better grasp on what is good for the country than they do, and for the most part we think PE Obama is on the right track. Moderation in everything, extreme in nothing. Maybe the change we need now is for the replacement of upper level management with all the special interest groups (left, right, and anywhere inbetween) so that they get the message finally that it's not all about them anymore. It's about WE THE PEOPLE, the ones that are actually working or trying to work for a living. All the rest of you big buck types, just get out of the way. We've heard about all we can take from all of you.

    December 22, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Karl

    It saddens me that so many strong American women are crying like little first grade school girls. You know that PE Obama has all the respect for women. For anyone to call him a Coward for his choices, should be led away to a back room and given Prozac to calm down. It's not all about YOU. It's about US...the United States. It's about future, not your selfish present moment in time. It's about your kids and mine having a solid future to live the proverbial American Dream. If you don't like it, join the Republican party. We know most of the men there are silent loverboys and care not of women issues. Go there.

    December 22, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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