Thursday, April 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rice withdrawal sparks gender concerns on Cabinet

WASHINGTON — The top contenders for the “big three” jobs in President Barack Obama’s second-term Cabinet are all white men, rekindling concerns among Democratic women about diversity in his inner circle.

Now that Susan Rice has withdrawn under pressure from consideration as the next secretary of state, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts is the front-runner for the nation’s top diplomatic post. Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is Obama’s favored candidate to run the Pentagon, and White House chief of staff Jack Lew is likely to be his next treasury secretary if he wants the job.

“The boys network is alive and well,” Democratic activist Donna Brazile wrote on Twitter after Rice withdrew. “The war on qualified women continues here in DC.”

Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a close friend of the president, dropped out of consideration for the State Department job Thursday. That followed months of withering criticism from Republicans over her initial comments about the attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya – criticism several female House Democrats said smacked of sexism and racism. Rice is black.

Her withdrawal reignited questions about gender diversity in the upper echelons of the administration, a concern that has nagged at the Obama White House for years. The questions grew so persistent early in Obama’s first term that the president invited his upper-level female staffers to a dinner to get their input on how to shake his administration’s “boys club” reputation.

Now, senior administration officials are considering whether a prominent woman should be named to a top Cabinet post in order to create gender balance, according to a person familiar with White House thinking. That person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss internal White House deliberations.

Among those whose names have been mentioned within the administration, former Defense Department official Michele Flournoy is being considered to lead the Pentagon and Lael Brainard, Treasury’s undersecretary of international affairs, has been cited as a contender for her agency’s top job. Former California Rep. Jane Harman has been discussed as a candidate for director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A woman has never held the top job at any of those agencies.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday, “The president’s approach has always been to seek excellence and as part of that believes diversity in terms of highly qualified candidates enhances excellence.”

Grumblings about gender diversity in the Obama administration have never focused on raw numbers but more on whether enough women were in high-powered decision-making roles.

“While numbers say a lot, they don’t say everything,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “Role and influence are important factors to bring to bear.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton certainly has had a high-powered role in the administration, as did Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during the debate on health care reform. Longtime Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett serves as a White House senior adviser and has the strongest personal relationship with the president of anyone in the administration.

And women backed Obama over Republican Mitt Romney in the November election, 55 percent to 43 percent.

Yet a photograph released by the White House Friday showing Obama meeting with his senior advisers underscored where critics see problems. Jarrett is the only woman among the six aides in the room.

Obama appointed seven women to his 22-person Cabinet during his first term. An eighth woman, Rebecca Blank, is currently serving as interim Commerce Secretary after John Bryson resigned earlier this year.

Some women in the Cabinet are expected to stay on for at least some of the second term, including Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Rice also will remain in the Cabinet as long as she stays in her post as the United Nations.

The controversy surrounding Rice centered on her assertion in Sunday talk shows that the attack in Libya was a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video produced in the U.S. Rice later acknowledged that was wrong, but she also said she was relying on an account that was provided by intelligence officials, who have since said their understanding of the attack evolved as more information came to light.

Republican lawmakers, led by Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, aggressively criticized Rice for her statements on Benghazi, calling her unqualified and untrustworthy. MCain said she was “not being very bright” in her comments.

That comment in particular provoked the ire of a dozen House Democratic women, who leapt to Rice’s defense and accused McCain and Graham of being motivated by sexism and racism. Rice never publicly agreed with their assessment.

In the aftermath of her withdrawal, other Democratic women lamented that they hadn’t done more to assist Rice as the criticism mounted.

“The thing about Susan Rice that really bothers me, the women’s groups, the civil rights groups, we should have stood up more,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, on MSNBC.

While Obama and others in the administration vigorously defended Rice, the White House never appointed a team to coordinate the administration’s response to the criticism, in large part because Rice was not an official nominee.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Travis lines up 2 days of aviation excellence

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Congressman talks Travis, water

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Appreciate how good we have it now

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Dixon May Fair has deals on advance tickets

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Garamendi talks love, pro football and Peace Corps

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Author to sign books at Vacaville Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Kroc Center women schedule inaugural Taster Tea

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Theme park welcomes seal pup

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Docents to lead paddling tour in marsh

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Juneteenth committee extends vendors, exhibitors deadline

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Congressional Art Competition is back

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Spilled tomato juice case set for trial

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Fairfield police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Syrian activists accuse Assad of new gas attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Murder charge for Vallejo man in head-on crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California bill reignites affirmative action fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Andy Lopez protest leads to school campus lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Navy Cross bestowed on heroic Marine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Bashtag: NYPD Twitter campaign backfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Small Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Lawyer: US man held in Cuba seeks to go home soon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Amid Russia warning, Ukraine is in a security bind

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Palestinian rivals to try again for unity deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
State senators get ethics training after scandals

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

Some Earth Day boos and cheers

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Be the first and give specifics

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
What we can do about crime

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

Castro at odds with mentor on deportations

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

When Joe’s mad at me, he also ignores my 7-year-old son

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for April 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Singer Chris Brown’s DC trial delayed for months

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Performing dogs go big after $1 million TV prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Girls soccer update: Armijo, Vanden on way to playoffs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mustangs swim to sweep of Indians

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors, Clippers to meet in Oakland for Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sharks confident with chance to sweep LA Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Perez helps Rangers sweep A’s with 3-0 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

A’s reject 10-year Coliseum lease offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prep softball: Vanden rolls to 14-0 win over Fairfield

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prep badminton: Unbeaten Mustangs cruise past Crushers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep boys golf: Vikings suffer SCAC loss to Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Sanchez’s slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep track: Armijo girls get win in MEL 4-way meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Emmert supports more efficient, effective NCAA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Suns’ Dragic honored as NBA’s Most Improved Player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oldest living ex-MLB player dies in Cuba at 102

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Business

Wellness programs grow more popular with employers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Buffett disapproves of Coca-Cola’s pay plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Phyllis J. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jean Sophia Ruckdeshel

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9