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. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Get over it.... He picked the best!

    December 22, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. SIMP

    I'm an woman I have no problem with Obama's cabinet. He has to pick based on knowledge, expiernce and the best person for the job. It's the women like this bunch of busy bodies that make women look like naggers. shut the heck up and let the men and women do their job, hell you are never satisfied.

    December 22, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    Just think he is not even in office yet. What a honeymoon.

    December 22, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Oh, please

    Stop whining and get over it. Cabinet members should be chosen for their qualifications, not their gender.

    December 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Diversity is the key

    Wow, it seems every group now has complained about not getting top billing.

    I thought those who voted for him voted for him for his policies. People need to stop acting like they're owed something because they supported him.

    December 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Cheryl

    Obama must feel he's the captain of the grade one dodgeball team...everyone is screaming "pick me!" "pick me!" Inevitably someone is going to be disappointed. If you voted for the man have faith in his ability to do the job, and that includes choosing his cabinet.

    December 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. KC

    Come on CNN. There are more important things to concentrate on in our country today. Let's talk about the criminal actions of Wall Street, the ultra rich, the politicians sitting in comfort in DC while the rest of our worry about everything. It is time for answers....this is not news. The pre-Depression condition of our country is news.

    December 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Pam

    Isn't the idea to have the best possible person in each cabinet position no matter what their race or gender?

    December 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The more left wing special interest groups Obama pisses off, the more I'm warming up to the guy. Now if he would announce that he'll have to wait on Iraq troop withdrawals, and tell the auto unions to take a pay cut, we may make him an honorary Republican.

    December 22, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. patNY

    Where is the person with parasitic twin syndrome? If you wanna be really diverse, have someone like that on the cabinet!

    December 22, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Let's base the decision off of merit not gender....get over it already!!

    December 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. patNY

    What! No gayblackrepublicans? How [fill in the blank] of Obama!

    December 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Once you vote Black

    Since there is not way for B Husain O to make anyone happy I hope he just does what he thinks is right for the next 4 years and see who is happy or sad during the next election. There is no way for him to make the W people happy and even the left is starting to dislike him.

    December 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Sweet Pea

    Greg M – You live in America and see what the country is going through and because of your evil upbringing you are wishing the new administration stupid and immature of you!!

    December 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. EW

    I have three words that explain why they are upset:

    Sense of entitlement.

    December 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. HouseDiva

    Obama's cabinet = REAL America! you betcha!

    December 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Nathan,

    Its time for all groups to be pissed off. This guy dosen't seen to be owned by any special interest group. Although I consider myself a liberal I'm tired of everyone being upset because they didn't get everything they wanted. We've had so much of playing to special interest that our combined interest never seems to get noticed. Could there be more women in the cabinet? Yes. Are there enough women in the cabinet? Yes there are. Stop crying and help make things better for all people which will make things better for woman.

    December 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    Some women's groups would be miffed no matter how many women he put in his Cabinet. The single most important Cabinet seat is the Secretary of State...and he put Hillary there.

    As a woman who fought all through the 70s, 80s, and 90s for women's rights, I find the mindset of some of my fellow women incomprehensible some times. Right now, with all the problems we are facing, I don't care what color, what gender, what ethnic, or what gender preference any of his Cabinet has...I want them capable, smart, and innovative, because we are really going to need those qualities!

    December 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    So what did they want, a cabinet 100% women? Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security are not "lightweight" appointments. Obama has done a wonderful job of putting the best and the brightest in key slots........back off and see how they do their jobs before unleashing the critical comments folks.

    December 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. obama-mama

    What a lot of you folks on here need is "faith".....We the people are so consumed with negativity and trivial things that we can't see anything good. Instead of everyone working together, we just try to tear someone down that's not even in office. And we call terrorists savages. We're the same, just dressed in different clothing. If everyone would just stop tearing our new PE down and focus on what we can do to help him bring this country back to some type of normalcy. We all will benefit if the economy and other issues improve. Stop whining and try to make this country better for your children and grandchildren.

    December 22, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Matt

    Currently Obama's cabinet is made up of 25% women which is higher than the U.S. Congress. Two women hold major positions, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. I would be pleased but hungry for more instead it reads that some of the groups are unhappy with this. Is President-elect Obama's job to fill these positions with the most qualified people that are willing to go into public service or to make various organizations feel good because they have enough of their group sitting at the big table? It's odd that people are willing to throw the incoming President under the bus before he has taken office based on such motivations.

    December 22, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Alex Camargo

    Five cabinet members is already an over-representation of women in politics. I think Obama is being more than generous here.

    December 22, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Dave

    Wow... So now it's a numbers game. You want more instead of most qualified? What is that going to prove!?!? I love how Obama is not pandering to special interest groups. Getting the job done right means some people are going to be ticked.

    Way to go Mr. President Elect.

    December 22, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Nija

    Live and let live people

    December 22, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. Kevin in Ohio

    I applaud the Obama supporters here who are disgusted with the Women's groups and their "entitlement" mentality. But think about it.... this is what the left wing is all about...entitlement. So naturally there are complainers and whiners out there. The democrat base is so broad, it takes in so many groups that are in conflict with each other.

    If you truly prefer non-entitlement and fairness and level-headedness, there is plenty of room for you on the conservative side of the aisle. You would be welcomed with open arms.

    Get ready for four years of placating and appeasement, everyone.

    December 22, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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