The Obama administration has come under fire from women’s groups over the trio of white men (including a Republican) recently nominated for top-tier cabinet jobs.
Minority groups are also growing concerned. There are official resignations — EPA chief Lisa Jackson, an African American, and Hispanic Labor Secretary Hilda Solis — as well as reported forthcoming departures of Asian American Energy Secretary Steven Chu and U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk an African American.
The White House has been at pains to point out there are indeed women in top jobs, with a “Photo of the Day” they tweeted out Wednesday prominently showing three top women in a small group of senior aides meeting with Obama. And the White House said that Attorney General Eric Holder, Kathleen Sibelius and Eric Shinseki are staying.
But perhaps we should pause to ruminate on what — in the context of cabinet musical chairs — “staying” actually means.
It doesn’t, for example, mean staying for four years — or four months for that matter. One wise source offered that it meant: “The White House is not nominating anyone now to fill those jobs.”
But that, of course, begs the question of the meaning of “now.”
Merriam-Webster’s third definition of “stay” is “remain,” but then offers as an example: “stay put till I come back.”
So, for example, when we hear Attorney General Eric Holder is likely staying that, as we have noted, most likely means he’s at Justice maybe until he goes to Martha’s Vineyard in August or perhaps by the end of the year — not that he’s going to be there for another four.
Ditto with “going,” which means “likely going in the near future.” (Raising the question of the meaning of “near.”) Kind of like “anon.”