Charlie Rangel on Obama’s all-white appointments: ‘Embarrassing as hell’


Rep. Charles Rangel called out the Obama administration Thursday morning on Jansing & Co. for appointing four white men in a row to cabinet positions.

“It’s embarrassing as hell,” said the veteran New York Democrat. “We’ve been through all this with Mitt Romney and we were very hard on Mitt Romney with his women binder.”

President Obama will nominate Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary this afternoon. His last three nominees—Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state, Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, and John Brennan for C.I.A. director—have all been white men.

Rangel argued diversity is crucial.

“It’s the right thing to do as a symbol of what America stands for and that’s whether you’re Republican or Democrat. That’s one of the major problems Republicans have: They just don’t get where America is going,” he toldChris Jansing.

The Korean War veteran was elected to Congress in 1970 and his district includes the Northern parts of Manhattan, including Harlem, as well as parts of the Bronx, described on his website as a  ”quintessential American melting pot—a community built on a number of ethnicities and nationalities.”

“I kind of think there’s no excuse when it’s the second term,” Rangel continued. “He’s had four years to work the bench, to work the second team, so that in the second term, these people should be just as experienced as any other American.”

But Rangel also pointed out a bright spot.

“We’re talking about American kids being able to look and aspire and hope that one day,” he paused, “there’s no way to substitute having an African-American president, with kids now,” Rangel said.

Rangel also pointed to someone else as breaking a glass ceiling.

“I think Hillary Clinton has really done more to shatter this whole idea that not only is it a question of fairness, but what is good for America as she assumed that role of secretary of state,” Rangel said.


Charlie Rangel on Obama's all-white appointments: 'Embarrassing as hell'