POLITICS

Charlie Rangel: Obama Cabinet Diversity 'Embarrassing As Hell'

01/10/2013 10:48 am 10:48:03 | Updated Jan 11, 2013

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), the second-longest serving African-American congressman in the House, slammed the lack of diversity in President Barack Obama's second-term cabinet Thursday.

"It's as embarrassing as hell," Rangel said on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." of Obama's top picks. "We've been through all of this with Mitt Romney. And we were very hard on Mitt Romney with the women binder and a variety of things."

"I kinda think there's no excuse when it's the second term. If it's the first term, you could see people got to know who is around and qualified in order to get this job, number one," he continued.

"I had thought that it could be the Harvard problem where people just know each other, trust each other. And women and minorities don't get a chance to rub elbows and their reputations and experience is not known ... so in the second term, these people should be just as experienced as anybody, any other American."

Obama's picks for Treasury, State and Defense are all white men. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leaving, as is Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. A photo of Obama's inner circle highlighted by The New York Times showed just one woman addressing the president, Valerie Jarrett. The Times reported that about 43 percent of Obama's appointees have been women, about the same as President Bill Clinton but about 10 percent more than President George W. Bush.

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