The Washington Post

Black Caucus chair questions Cabinet diversity

President Obama is under scrutiny for his all-white Cabinet picks. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

The Ohio Democrat Monday wrote to the White House to say she is disappointed by the White House’s all-white slate of second-term Cabinet nominees. “You have publicly expressed your commitment to retaining diversity within your cabinet,” she wrote. “However, the people you have chosen to appoint in this new term have hardly been reflective of this country’s diversity.”

Since President Obama’s first term, the diversity among the Cabinet has taken a hit, with two of the four blacks, both Hispanics and one of two Asian Americans leaving the administration. Only five more top jobs remain open, (though President Obama is expected soon to name Tom Perez to Labor Secretary, meaning there will be at least one Hispanic on board).

Fudge notes that black voters “overwhelmingly” voted for him, hinting that he should ensure that their voices are heard — specifically around the President’s conference table.

And in an echo of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment, Fudge noted that the Congressional Black Caucus has long been offering the administration the names of qualified black candidates for the Cabinet and other top jobs. “I am disappointed none have received the consideration they deserve,” Fudge wrote.

Update — a White House official e-mailed us this statement: “

“The President is deeply committed to diversity in his cabinet and ensuring his Administration reflects the breadth of our country. He believes that the best decisions are made when he is surrounded by people who share different perspectives as we work toward improving our economy and building a strong middle class - together.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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