Jordan Debbink
Cabinet picks diversity and intellect
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By Jordan Debbink
December 8, 2016

This month, two women emerged onto the national scene. Elaine Chao, Trump's pick for Transportation Secretary and Seema Verma, Trump's pick for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS).

Many comments have been made recently regarding the cabinet selections that Trump is announcing. Some say that he has undoubtedly picked the most unconventional and ill-prepared when it comes to Governor Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador and Ben Carson for HUD. Others argue that the selections of James Mattis for Defense and Wilbur Ross for Commerce have allowed the more moderate and educated members of the GOP back in the fold.

But here I am only the narrator. I have never followed a presidential cabinet selection before. I am here to simply provide the research.

Elaine Chao, who happens to be the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comes to the Trump administration with years of experience not only in politics, but the private sector as well. Previously the VP of the Bank of America, the President and CEO of United Way of America and a Distinguished Fellow with the Heritage Foundation, Chao's ascension to politics was only starting.

From 1989-1991, she was hired on as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation. From 1991-1992, she took over as Director of the Peace Corp. Also, in 1991, she was hired by George W. Bush as Secretary of Labor. She worked tirelessly to protect the health and wages of workers through legislation.

As the longest serving Secretary of Labor and the first Asian American women to ever serve in a US cabinet, her credentials have made her once again a valuable commodity. In November of 2016, she was tapped by Donald Trump to take on the positions of Labor Secretary. Formerly serving as Deputy Secretary of Labor, she will no doubt handle this position with grace and intellect.

Seema Verma, a veteran to the healthcare world having spent years reforming Medicaid and Medicare programs, is a seemingly brilliant pick for CMMS. Having worked with many governors across the states to assist with additional options to Obamacare, she is the draftswoman behind the Healthy Indian Plan. Having successfully worked with vice-president-elect Mike Pence while he was governor, some question the appointment as one of nepotism.

But as the founder and CEO of SVC, a health policy consulting firm that has had a very successful track record of working for the people, she is still considered by many the most logical choice. Her nationality also brings less attention to the xenophobia of the Trump campaign and ushers in a new era. One in which 2 Indian-American women will serve in high level appointments under a United States Administration.

So, the rest is for you to decide. As the New Year unfolds and Trump takes his oath of office, Americans will see what the Senate will do with these appointments. Will diversity and intellect make its way into the air space of the West Wing, right down to the Cabinet Room?

© Jordan Debbink

 

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