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The more things change...

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Brendan Hoffman — Getty Images

We’ve been covering presidential transitions for so long that even news reports written 20 years apart start to read the same. Consider these two items in The New York Times about possible Cabinet selections — in 1992 and 2012.

“Concerned that his first Cabinet appointments might signal the wrong intentions for his Administration, President-elect Bill Clinton plans to expand this week’s announcements to include posts that would be filled by female and minority appointees….

“Mr. Clinton said repeatedly during the campaign that his closest circle of advisers would ‘look like America,’ his way of promising a Cabinet that would include men, women and members of minorities.

“But some of his advisers have worried that as he grew closer to making his first public announcements — probably on Thursday — this promise would conflict with his desire to fill economic posts first.

“His leading choices for the financial jobs, including Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas for Secretary of the Treasury, Roger C. Altman as Mr. Bentsen’s deputy, and Robert E. Rubin or Robert B. Reich as Economic Security Adviser, are all white men.”

— The New York Times, Dec. 7, 1992

“The announcement [of Sen. John F. Kerry as Secretary of State] will be delayed, at least until later this week and maybe beyond, because of the Connecticut school shooting and what one official called “some discomfort” with the idea of Mr. Obama’s announcing a national security team in which the top posts are almost exclusively held by white men.

“The American ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, who is black and was considered Mr. Obama’s leading candidate for the job, withdrew her name from consideration last week after opposition to her nomination grew in the Senate….

“With Ms. Rice out of the running, Mr. Kerry’s appointment ‘is the working presumption,’ said a senior State Department official who has been preparing for the transition to a new secretary. But White House officials said the deal was not entirely done, because the lineup currently envisioned — with former Senator Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department and the acting C.I.A. director, Michael J. Morell, likely to be named to the post permanently — looks a bit too much like national security teams of a previous era.”

— The New York Times, Dec. 17, 2012

Obviously, no facts to check here. Simply noted without comment.

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