The Washington Post

Obama promises diverse new team

White House photo of Obama meeting with advisers. 

President Obama pushed back Monday against those who say his second administration is not diverse enough, saying they are rushing to judgment before the entire team is in place. 

"I'm very proud that in the first four years we had as diverse, if not more diverse, a White House and Cabinet as any in history and I intend to continue that," Obama said. "I would wait until people see all my appointments, who's in my Cabinet before they rush to judgement." 

"Until you've seen what my overall team looks like its premature to assume that somehow we're going backwards," he said. "We're not going backwards, we're going forward." 

Obama has nominated four white men to high profile posts in recent days: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state, former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as head of the CIA and Chief of Staff Jack Lew as Treasury secretary. 

But he argued that his record has earned him the benefit of the doubt.

"If you think about my first four years, the person who probably had the most influence on my foreign policy was a woman, the people who were in charge of moving forward my most important domestic initiative, health care, were women, the person in charge of homeland security was a woman, 50 percent of my White House staff were women," he said. "So I think people should expect that that record will be built on in the next four years."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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Felicia Sonmez · January 14, 2013

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