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. Marshall

    70% of Obama's cabinet are women and minorities. As a white male, I'm underrepresented. There is a first time for everything! I didn't vote for Obama, but I'm not unhappy with his picks. Actually, the President-elect should pick who ever he desires. If you voted for him you must live with the choices and decisions he makes. Matter of fact, we all do. So women groups and gays and lesbian groups give Obama a break and suck it up! The new President will have enough on his plate in 2009 to deal with. Good luck Mr. Obama.

    December 22, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. BB

    He's not a "certain group" type president. Get off it CNN.

    December 22, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Jason

    Obama should appoint the most capable and selfless people, not those that fit the criteria for a certain quota.

    Having higher representation among the cabinet is not going to make this a better nation for women. Having capable leaders who can look beyond their own selfish needs will.

    December 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Who is they? Give us the names of who "they" are and perhaps Obama can address their concerns or we might find Obama has already done so.

    December 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Tammy - KCMO

    As a female, I think gender should not be the basis for choosing someone to serve in the cabinet. I'm much more interested in if a person is qualified for the job.

    Get over yourselves!

    December 22, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. STEVE R





    December 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. poochie

    To all the women who feel they are not getting enough attention I have this to say: Calm down, Shut-up and quit Tripping. Some people are never satisfied.

    December 22, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Gil

    5 out of twenty isn't bad? I think Obama went for Quality in his Cabinet and picked 5 outstnding woman. What is there to get miffed about?

    December 22, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    As a woman, I have to tell these sisters of mine – get over it. People should not be chosen for government positions based on race, gender, sexual orientation or age. The ONLY qualification for a job under President Obama's administration should be "an ability to get the job done". Then, you can toss in a desire to have folks who can "work across the aisle". Education, experience, talent, vision, these are the things that are needed as America faces this crisis. Gender, unfortunately, does not qualify one, by itself, to serve.

    December 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Dan, FL

    I do not mind whom he selects but Barack has no clue about the cost that we tax-payers have to pay. Barack can hire tons of people but who is going to pay for it. Democrats are know for big Government and big expense. God save us from this evil.

    December 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. John

    There is only one republican nominated in the Obama administration. Representative La Hood is a republican. But Secretary Bob Gates is not, just because you serve in a republican adminstration dose not make all Cabinet-members republican. Bob Gates has made it a point in the past, to indicate that he is an independent not a republican. Please be honest journalists. Yeah, President-elect Obama is indeed bringing many viewpoints and leaders from across the board, but it is getting to point that this out-right lying.

    December 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Dj

    Some people are NEVER satisfied... no matter what is done. Personally, I feel sorry people like that.

    December 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Obama is the President-Elect of the whole United States! He is not the president of one particular group! The age of "quotas" is over.

    Obama is picking his team based, as it should be, on qualifications.

    The media, who always believe "if it bleeds, it leads" is not above causing a little bloodletting to get a headline.

    The MSM is also not above finding a few disenchanted folk – making mountains where even molehills don't exist.

    Let's poll the media and see how many don't want to come off the election "high" and are just stirring the pot for the excitement?

    December 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Matt

    Oh brother. Someone call the waaaahmbulance...

    At some point, you have to stop whining and just start doing.

    @ Tired of Corporate Politics

    Sorry, but symbolically hanging unpopular political figures is something done ALL THE TIME to express disapproval of them. It's called hanging them in effigy. It was not in any way (if you happen to understand it) directed at Palin's genitalia. What you and people like you need to understand is that it's not targetted at "women" when something that is done to male political figures is done to them. You can't have it both ways. Either it's fair game to hang them in effigy and dig up nonsense from their lives just like gets done with male politicians or you're just trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    December 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. CJ1218

    Oh boo hoo.

    December 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    This is the way it is with special interest groups. They don't care about anything but furthering the cause. I relate them all to white supremacists or the kkk. kkk would have you pick people based on the color of a person's skin. These special interests groups are just the same but would have picks made by the kind of plumbing a person has or by that person being sympathetic to gays.

    December 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Craig

    So what first the Hateful right wing, then the gays and now women. OMG people get a grip.

    December 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Noah

    These are the same women who think that Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be Senator just because of her last name but don't think Sarah Palin is qualified even to be a governor despite her actually having earned everything she has in her political career. I would question whether these women truly stand for "real women" in the first place

    December 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    and they're never satisfied.... SHUT UP

    December 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Phoenix

    Why do liberals believe that they should own Obama? Liberals were not the only ones who voted for Obama. I am a black conservative Republican who felt that the Republican party betrayed themselves with G.W. Bush and John McCain (don't get me started on Palin). I am also a Christian who applauded the selection of Rick Warren. Liberals always scream that conservatives are racists, well, they feel that the "black" man that they helped elects owes them, and that somehow they own him. If that's not racis, what is? I don't even want to get started on the fake movement known as feminism. Where were the Feminists when Michelle Obama was being attacked? Again, Feminism is just another word for racism.

    December 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |

    Always complaining! i am a Very educated women, and that does not mean i Want nothing but women in the cabinet!!! i want the best, the most intelligent, the most educated.... To help run the country!! If you wanted women to be the top then why didnt they Back Sarah Palin????????? MY POINT EXACTLY! because you rather voted for the better candidate!!! So SHUT UP AND LET HIM GET SWORN IN FIRST BEFORE YOU START BLABBING!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. A Liberal Woman

    Let Obama pick who he thinks is best for the job. I personally am not bothered that he only picked 5 women. Listen, if he picks men who protect and stand up for women's right, I'm happy.

    Look at Sarah Palin, she was picked because of her gender, yet she DID NOT represent women's right nor protect them.

    Don't judge Obama yet, lets see how he does. So calm down ladies.

    December 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. obama-mama

    Good grief...I'm a female but why are these clowns whining. They don't have enough to do....Let him pick and choose who he wants. I'm sure if there were other women he felt should be in his cabinet he would have chosen them....Stop making everything so emotional...

    December 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Independent-Minded American

    SOS is the most powerful cabinet position, and it's filled by a woman...

    December 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Gal, Ohio

    There is a reason Obama picked who he did and that is because he feels they are the most qualified. You don't like it...go work harder then.

    December 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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