January 18, 2013

A magnifying glass is not required to see that President Obama has nominated four white men to fill four prominent positions in his administration. Now, he is rumored to have selected another white man ashis next chief of staff. (Both of the deputy chiefs of staff are women, and neither was floated to replace their boss.) The resignation of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar presented an opportunity to help rectify the imbalance — and yet the administration is considering, according to The Post [“Salazar creates another environmental vacancy,” Jan. 17], four men and one woman for the post; to add insult to injury, two men and two women are up for the slot at the Environmental Protection Agency that will open with Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s departure.

Equal representation of women at all levels of government is a moral imperative that can’t wait any more. How could it be that women dramatically helped to reelect the president, and yet he seems to have somehow overlooked us?

Erin Matson, Washington

President Obama’s disrespect for women is evident beyond the white-male Cabinet appointments and photo-ops [“Picturing diversity in the White House,” In the Loop, Jan. 15]. Female staffers and appointees already serving in his administration are underutilized and often invisible. Has anyone seen Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general, recently? Where is her leadership on critical national health-care challenges, such as Medicare reform through pay-per-visit, hospice-like treatment during the costly final 18 months of life and medical efforts to stop patients with mental health problems from purchasing assault weapons? What has Ms. Benjamin done? Why was she not empowered to lead the campaign against childhood obesity, the way C. Everett Koop, as surgeon general, revolutionized the battle against cigarettes?

Women swept Obama into office twice and are now closeted and ignored, at best consigned to the administration’s housekeeping.

Elia Chepaitis, Grassy Key, Fla.

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