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Ruth Marcus: Obama's team of retros

BY RUTH MARCUS Published: January 12, 2013

Thinking about Obama's selections, I had a flashback to the moment in December 1992, when newly elected Bill Clinton exploded in anger over “bean counters” at women's groups “playing quota games and math games” in lamenting the lack of diversity in his still-evolving Cabinet choices.

Clinton had a point. He ended up with what was then the most diverse Cabinet in history. And there is something distasteful and fundamentally demeaning about judging a Cabinet solely by the color of its skin or the composition of its chromosomes.

The White House will point to women in other Cabinet positions, and to women in sub-Cabinet roles, although one, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, has just announced her resignation. OK, but State, Defense and Treasury, along with Justice, are the Big Boy jobs. It matters if some of those boys are girls. It sends a disturbing signal when they're not.