Give Obama a Break on Hiring Women!

So, here is the NY Times raising a confused eyebrow at the dearth of female hires in the Obama White House:

…Mr. Obama’s recent nominations raised concern that women were being underrepresented at the highest level of government and would be passed over for top positions. [...]
“It’s not so much about checking a box, like on a census form,” said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic political consultant in Washington. “It’s about the qualitative properties that the candidate takes to the position. In this case you’re talking about tremendous women, and then we get a whole bunch more white guys.”

The White House responds that it hires the right person for each job and that qualifications count more than gender.

Which is sensible and as it should be. The “right person for the job” should be the right person, even if that person is a dreaded “white guy.” Or a gay guy. Or a woman with seven kids.

That’s not to say there are no women qualified for these posts — it’s quite possible that there are scores of them, but the president and his team simply do not know them and are not aware. The president, after all, can’t know everyone.

In which case, it might be incredibly helpful if someone in the White House compiled information on qualified female candidates and put them all together — in something like a binder.

Yeah, that’s the ticket! A binder full of the resumes and backgrounds of qualified women he may not be aware of, so he can broaden his choices, and perhaps find a woman who is precisely the right person for the job.

Putting women in binders. What a stupid idea. I’m really glad this president doesn’t do that. What a crazy, insulting, sexist and out-of-touch thing to do!

Take off her binders! Take off her binders!

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • sue finlon

    Maybe all the qualified women the president can’t possibly know are in those “binders”. I see nothing wrong with wanting to purposely balance your staff with a cross section of what the country has to offer. The “binders” of resumes of qualified individuals may be a little old school for you my dear but I think hiring from the people you “know” is part of the problem with th American work force today. This “I got a buddy who is perfect for that job so it saves the boss from having to think about it” mentality is lazy and thoughtless which pretty much sums up this president and this generation.

    [Perhaps you didn't catch my irony. I agree with you. -admin]

  • Manny

    Perhaps the qualified women are all pro-life, or have some other non-starter litmus test belief. Chuck Hagel seems to have gotten the Sec of Def job because he doesn’t have the pro-Israel litmus test. Wouldn’t Joe Lieberman have been the perfect candidate for that job and it wasn’t offered to him?

  • dabhidh

    Ah, but you see, we can trust the Obama administration to hire the Best, Most Qualified People Regardless of Sex, Race, Creed, or Sexual Orientation, even if they’re all white men. But we can’t trust Republicans to do the same, because they are self-evidently racist, sexist, and otherwise driven by unreasoning prejudice and other evil motivations. When they hire all white guys, or even if they hire black women, then they are doing so based on racism and sexism. Not like the kindly Democrats, who do everything according to principle.

  • David

    We have forgotten the fact Obama has the “superior intellect”. He’s able to read the one or two page executive summaries from the different departments because he’s so knowledgeable on every issue. Leafing through those “binders” to find a qualified female candidate may require a level of studying he feels he does not need.

    (I apologize for my snark and cynicism about our current president.)

  • pianogirl88

    I now refer to all of my notebooks filled with music (I must have 50+ of them!) as “binders of music.” My lib students look at me kind of funny when I say, “please grab the binder for string music off the shelf for me”, and they’ll say, “binder?” I say, “yes, my binders of music are in the book case in the back of my studio….please get the one with string music for me. Thank you!!”

  • LisaB

    “I apologize for my snark and cynicism about our current president.”
    I can’t speak for Elizabeth, but I see no need for an apology. He deserves our derision and much, much more.

  • Ron Van Wegen

    “So, here is the NY Times raising a confused eyebrow at the death of female hires in the Obama White House:”

    um… dearth!

    [Thanks for the headsup. I did mean dearth. Really! :-) -admin]

  • Frank Koza

    Perhaps women are refusing to work for him after seeing the way he publicly ‘pumped and dumped’ Susan Rice?