Washington Secrets

Second-term Cabinet diversity half that of Bush, Clinton

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Even if President Obama names minorities to fill the few Cabinet openings where there isn't a white, male frontrunner, his team will still be far less diverse than the second terms of the last two re-elected presidents: George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

As he faces criticism for turning his Cabinet into a good old boy's club, it is growing increasingly apparent that it will be impossible for the nation's first black president to have a second term cabinet as or more diverse than his predecessors.

As it stands now, Obama will have three minorities--one African American and two women--in his Cabinet. Bush had seven minorities as did Clinton in their second term.

He does have a chance to pad that, however. Should he name a minority to Commerce, Transportation, or Interior, he could have six minorities, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

While a number of his Cabinet secretaries are leaving, or rumored to be retiring, either the president has already nominated a white male or white men are in line to be named.

Those still up in the air:

-- Labor. No serious candidate has emerged to replace Secretary Hilda Solis.

-- Interior. Mostly white men have been named as potential replacements for retiring Secretary Ken Salazar, though one media outlet suggested Hispanic Arizona Rep. Ra?l M. Grijalva.

-- Transportation. Secretary Ray LaHood, who has elevated the prominence of DOT, is rumored to be leaving. Among the potential replacements is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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