Appoint at Least One Republican to His Cabinet

Promise Honored President Obama has kept the following promise:

Interview with Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes": Question: "Will there be Republicans in the Cabinet?" Obama: "Yes." Question: "More than one?" Obama: "You're not getting any more out of me." — Interview with "60 Minutes," Nov. 16, 2008

Source: Interview with "60 Minutes," Nov. 16, 2008

Other promises regarding his administration.


Updated: Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

One, maybe two, maybe even more coming

As spoken, it seems President Obama only needed to appoint one Republican to his cabinet to satisfy this promise - and he did.

In a Dec. 1, 2008, press conference to announce his national security team, Obama said he asked Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of Defense. Gates has served under several Republican administrations, including as national security advisor and then director of central intelligence under the elder Bush, George H. W. Bush.

At the press conference, Obama said of Gates, "He knows that we need a sustainable national security strategy — and that includes a bipartisan consensus at home."

Although numerous media outlets have identified Gates as a Republican, he actually is not registered with either party.

In a Pentagon press conference on Dec. 2, 2008, Gates was asked to "clear up" his party affiliation.

"I felt, when I was at CIA, that as a professional intelligence officer, like a military officer, I should be apolitical, and so I didn't register with a party," Gates explained. "I consider myself a Republican. Until yesterday, all of my senior appointments have been under Republican presidents."

While that still left Obama technically one shy of a Republican on his cabinet, he put the issue to rest on Dec. 19, when he nominated Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois, to serve as his Secretary of Transportation.

LaHood is a no-doubt-about-it Republican. In fact, he presided over the impeachment vote against President Bill Clinton. Heck, his son, Sam LaHood, worked on the McCain campaign.

"When I began this appointment process I said I was committed to finding the best person for the job regardless of party," Obama said at the Dec. 19 press conference. "Ray's appointment reflects that bipartisan spirit, the spirit we need to reclaim in the country to make progress for the American people, and a spirit that Ray has embodied in all of his years in public service."

Whether Obama has embraced a "bipartisan spirit" in his cabinet picks is certainly debatable. It is overwhelmingly Democratic. But he only promised at least one Republican. And by our count it's at least one.


Media Roundtable with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates from the Pentagon Briefing Room, Arlington, Va., Dec. 2, 2008

Obama's National Security Team press conference, Dec. 1, 2008

CNN, "Transcript: Obama Nominates Transportation & Labor Secretaries," Dec. 19, 2008

Wall Street Journal, "Obama Will be Hands-On Chief," Jan. 13, 2009

Rate this promise + or - whether you believe it is good or bad for the nation.

rating: 0+x

Click here to read other promises made regarding his administration.

Please let us know what you think:

Add a New Comment
or Sign in as Wikidot user
(will not be published)
- +
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License