Forget the ‘veepstakes’ — Biden should make history with finance picks
As COVID-19 takes its toll across a divided nation, bad economic news is pouring in from every corner of the country. Vice President Biden has been here before. He campaigned with President Obama in 2008 as the U.S. economy and Wall Street collapsed. This time, however, it’s Biden’s turn to pick a running mate.
Should he claim victory in November, Biden has pledged to build a top-notch Cabinet that “will look like the country.” That’s important, as diverse voices produce better policy outcomes for everyone.
After promising last month to pick a woman to be his running mate, the former VP has recently gone further, saying he ”would consider announcing some Cabinet members before the election.” While naming actual nominees now would be politically fraught, he should instead pledge to fill some of the high-ranking economic and financial posts – for the first time – with minorities.
The list of high-ranking administration jobs that have yet to see an African American, Latino, Asian or Native American includes secretary of the Treasury, as well as the chairs of the National Economic Council (NEC) or the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). Most influential of all is chair of the Federal Reserve System, which has been occupied by a woman, Janet Yellen, but never a person of color. Nearly every demographic has been confirmed in some or all of the above-mentioned jobs — men, women, old, young, rich, poor, rural, urban and white. That leaves one glaring exception.