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Don’t Be Fooled: Obamaland Remains a Male Enclave

by Keith Koffler on February 8, 2013, 10:21 am

Despite beginning what is likely to be a series of high-profile appointments of women to his administration, President Obama’s most senior advisers at the start of his second term will continue to predominantly be men.

Obama has come under criticism for relying mainly on men as his top advisers. With moves like Thursday’s announcement that he wants to install REI CEO Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary and the expected nomination of Obama fundraiser Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce, the president is hoping to tamp down the noise.

White House job fair?

White House job fair?

But those appointments are little more than window dressing, because the locus of power in the administration is in the White House and among a few select Cabinet secretaries. And Interior and Commerce are not among them.

There are arguably 17 people within the administration who are the most senior and who have the most constant access to the president. Only three of them are women: Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and, assuming current chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan moves to CIA, Lisa Monaco, who will take Brennan’s place.

The rest are all men. That is, the percentage of women in the United States is 50.9 percent. The percentage of female senior Obama advisers is 17.6 percent.

The men are also almost all white. They are: Vice President Joe Biden; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Counselor to the President Pete Rouse; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients; Press Secretary Jay Carney; and Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger.

Obama meets one-on-one regularly with only three Cabinet members, and all will be men in his new administration: the Defense Secretary, who is expected to be former Sen. Chuck Hagel; the Secretary of State, John Kerry; and the Treasury Secretary, for which position Obama has chosen former Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

While he doesn’t meet with him as often, Attorney General Eric Holder is close to the president, holds a senior Cabinet post, and so is also arguably among the administration’s most elite group of power holders.

Notably, Obama’s entire economic team will consist of white men: Lew, Sperling, Krueger and Zients.

Among the women, Jarrett was present during the first term, while both Palmieri and Monaco are newly elevated to the top group. But Obama traded Hillary Clinton for John Kerry as Secretary of State. So despite all the claims by the White House that it has beefed up its distaff component, the net addition of women at the highest echelons of Obamadom amounts to one.

{ 27 comments }

Moe February 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

Keith please do a story regarding Obama and Hillary going AWOL on 9/11. They repeatedly lied to us, the people need to know about this outrage.

Julie Brueckheimer February 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

I second that.

Susan February 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

I agree. The suppression of news about our government’s role in Benghazi is frightening. There hasn’t been one word spoken or written about the cover up either – blaming a video and then jailing the man credited with creating the video.

blondie February 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I agree. I am just outraged that isn’t getting more press!! Even the MSM can’t ignore this. What possably could have been more important than our embassy being attacked? I wish the father that was so outspoken would speak up again. His son died for a commander who obviously could care less.

Langley Spook February 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

A “US Ambassador” is under attack…
and NO ONE? tells the US State Dept. (“Watch Office”) the Pentagon JCS-DIA “Watch Officer” or the Obama White House (“Situation Room”) what is going on?

Robin H February 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

What’s even more important than gender is ability. Yeah, maybe he needs some new people…

srdem65 February 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

Fairness, equality, race, and ethnicity are values to be imposed and embraced by the subjects in Obamaland, not it’s rulers.

Star February 8, 2013 at 11:08 am

I am sure Valjar and Michelle don’t want super smart women hovering and jostling for recognition.

Holly February 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

Yes, Michelle too. I try to keep her out of my mind as much as possible…

Holly February 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

Thinking Queen Bee Valerie Jarrett is the reason there are so few female top advisors.

Sol February 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

HOW does it matter WHAT color they are? Since they were all appointed by HIM you CAN’T trust or believe ANY of them.

Sol February 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

oops – color or sex…

RT February 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

A good read, thanks Keith. The Op Ed / post provides an opportunity to draw attention to some important White House goings on… Trying to follow along here, plodding through major points…

Headline: Don’t Be Fooled: Point? President Obama is attempting to fool America.

Penny Pritzker: Point? She is just window dressing – the MOTIVE behind the appointment based solely on the President’s desire to tamp down the bias noise. Ongoing logical extension – even when our President does appoint a woman, it is for all the wrong reasons. He likes white men…

Citing some demographics:…”the percentage of women in the United States is 50.9 percent”. Point? All decisions regarding employment (at least in respect to gender / race) should match or come close to this common index. Does this logic extend to other demographics? Certainly – including color, race, sexual orientation, political party, religious affiliation, handicapped, home owner, college graduate…

One Off: “The men are also almost all white”. Point? If it is not a woman, it is a man. If the man is not black, brown, Indian, or Eskimo, he is a white man. If we talk Gender, we gotta talk color too. It is all tied together this stuff…Got it…

Center of Power: “Obama meets one-on-one regularly with only three Cabinet members.” Point? He should meet regularly (whatever and however one defines “meet” and “regularly”) with everyone and not play favorites. It is AOK and expected to have a small inner circle, but it MUST be diverse. Example here: One black, one Latino, 1.5 women, etc. How hard is it? Not hard at all.

Obamas Economic Team: Four white guys. Point? Got it now – merely another example of our President being insensitive to race, color, gender, etc… Let’s run with the seven Fed Members… Doh! All white! Three Woman, but the math is clear on white…

The Closer: “The net addition of women at the highest echelons of Obamadom amounts to one.” Point? Clear. Our 44th President of the United States is a ________. When he is not appointing white men in suits, his clear preference, he appoints ________ as merely tokens to stave off any MSM inquiries, which are too few and far between!

So, this is easy! It may get a bit complicated math wise, but all we need to do is ensure our President appoints the “right people” and consider all of the variables so as to be inclusive! The inner circle is only 3 or 4 folks, I mean, come on! Just go through the “binders” of applicants and locate the right folks. For example, pick a gay, black, Christian, under 30, recently homeless, college grad, Libertarian, Veteran, disabled female. Check! We are one third of the way done. Not so hard! And, when Obama appoints the right person, getting her through the Senate Confirmation hearings is a piece of cake! I mean, there are very recent examples of what happens when Obama “considers” a qualified Black Female…

Good stuff.

~ RT

srdem65 February 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

If you’re referring to Ambassador SusanRice, as being considered for a Cabinet position, she destroyed her own chances of being the next Sec of State by throwing her reputation and credibility on a pyre of lies provided by the WhiteHouse.
Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA was approved by a voice vote of the Senate.
Both of these women were/are immensely qualified for the positions they now/did hold in government, and both have been besmirched by their association with WhiteHouse policies that has nothing to do with their gender or race.

RT February 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

srdem65 – Thanks for sharing. As is par for me, my post was lengthy by standards here (sorry) and embedded were about 100 BB’s. No surprise, the BB pulled out to “discuss” was my parting quip… Feel free to comment on the rest of the laid out irony… I suspect not…

I’l bite on Susan, no pun intended…

First a question. Are you saying Susan Rice “was or is” qualified to be Secretary of State? The “was” turning into “Not” due to her press statement? Your closing paragraph would imply she remains qualified, she is just being set aside for now (probably having to do with the expenditure of political capital)….

What it not clear to me is if you believe / hold contend that the “besmirched thing” made Susan Rice unqualified to serve. If so and not qualified, was this deserved or just politics as usual? If politics as usual, how would you have voted as a Senator?

If still qualified but merely a bit tattered as any politician / diplomat becomes, what was the big deal then? Was Susan Rice merely a punching bag to shed light on Benghazi? Something else?

Your posts are always good and well thought out. Looking forward to a clarification.

~ RT

srdem65 February 9, 2013 at 12:42 am

I only suggest that Susan Rice would have been confirmed as SoS if she hadn’t been sacrificed to present the lie about a video inflaming radicals to burn down the building in Bengazi and the death of the Ambassador. IMO, she ‘took one for the team’ and they left her hanging. She certainly is qualified to be just about anything she aspires.
Lisa Jackson was presented to the Senate and confirmed for the EPA.
Both are Black women, and no racial or sexist prejudice was used for or against either of them.

RT February 9, 2013 at 2:29 am

Thanks. She took one for the team, indeed.

Sadie February 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm

He’s saving his “affirmative action” choices for SCOTUS.

Langley Spook February 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Jarrett is a Romulan, so that dosent count.

cincycinco February 9, 2013 at 7:46 am

She CAN’T be a Romulan. Romulans don’t hate their military. Quite the opposite…

Girly1 February 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Penny Pritztker – Obama’s Chicago ATM machine. Not only did she fill the campaign coffers, she travelled with Obama on AF1 campaingn jaunts. This obviously qualifies her to be Commerce Sec. Is this even legal for a sitting POTUS?

Aside from his male gender preferences, Obama probably harbors the Muslim philosophy that men are superior to wormen. I bet he would prefer to see them wearing burkhas.

Sadie February 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm

She sits on Chicago’s Board of Education where 80% of 8th graders are not at grade level in reading or math. Obviously, more than qualified by WH standards. sarc off/

Star February 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Isn’t she buying him a house?

Regina February 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

calling for puppets… anyone?

Jeff February 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Sorry Keith, I have it on a reliable source Osamabama’s caliphate will be known as Rainbowlandistan.. And it was Harry Reid who told me via the internet, so I know it has got to be true.

Tea Party at Perrysburg February 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm

But I think you’d have to say that, given who rules the roost in the West Wing, the female gender certainly has a say in executive policy.

cincycinco February 9, 2013 at 7:43 am

“Obamaland”? Isn’t that what they renamed the Chicago bathhouse?