Self-proclaimed president-elect Joe Biden has already taken major steps to fill his prospective cabinet with Democrat establishment figures, and it’s provoking progressives who thought Biden would be more sympathetic to their wishes.
After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) indicated that he’s unhappy with Biden’s cabinet choices, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) publically took Biden to task over the lack of Black representation in senior leadership positions.
Democrats managed to maintain a united front throughout the general election, but now that they’re confident Trump will be ousted, conflict within the party has once again risen to the surface.
In an interview with The Hill’s Juan Williams, Clyburn hailed Biden’s pick of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black veteran of the diplomatic corps, to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but complained that she is the only Black female to be named to a top administration post.
“From all I hear, Black people have been given fair consideration,” Clyburn told Williams. “But there is only one Black woman so far. I want to see where the process leads to, what it produces, but so far it’s not good.”
One of the most powerful Democrats in the House, Clyburn is increasing pressure on Biden to choose Black politicians for cabinet roles. Clyburn is pushing Biden to consider Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) for Agriculture secretary, among others.
The Biden campaign pushed back against Clyburn’s accusations that there isn’t enough diversity among Biden’s staffing choices, responding to The Hill’s inquiry into the matter by pointing out that 46 percent of Biden’s staff are people of color and 52 percent are women.
“He has only announced a few White House staff and cabinet nominees to this point, and his success in finding diverse voices to develop and implement his policy vision to tackle our nation’s toughest challenges will be clear when our full slate of appointees and nominees is complete,” wrote a Biden campaign spokesman.