Confirmation season is underway with Secretary of State nominee John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. And with the formal rollout of President Obama’s second term Cabinet, the debate over whether it includes enough women will likely begin again in earnest.
So far in the second term, Obama has nominated Kerry at State (white guy), Jack Lew at Treasury (white guy) and Chuck Hagel at Defense (white guy) while picking Denis McDonough (white guy) to serve as his new chief of staff.
And, Obama’s watched as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, without question the most high profile member of his Cabinet, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson have headed for the exits. (Check out this handy dandy interactive to keep track of all the comings and goings of Obama’s Cabinet.)
So, does President Obama have a woman problem in his Cabinet? Or is this just a trumped-up media storyline?
That’s where the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University comes in. And, specifically, CAWP’s chart below that details the number of women appointed to presidential Cabinets (and Cabinet-level positions) dating back to Gerald Ford’s presidency.