Obama May Not Play 'Quota Game' With Cabinet

Many say president, having broken barrier himself, can focus on 'best and brightest'
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 12, 2008 12:33 PM CST
President-elect Obama talks on his cell phone aboard his plane after meeting with President Bush on Monday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s election is such a breakthrough in itself that he may face less obligation to make Cabinet appointments based solely on diversity, Jonathan Martin writes in Politico. While his predecessors tapped women and minorities for their Cabinets, Obama "is post-racial when it comes to choosing those who will work most closely with him."

Many veteran black politicians agree, saying Obama need not play the "quota game" and should seek the best and the brightest. Where previous presidents appointed minorities to ensure their views were represented, Obama himself can speak from that vantage point. Still, selecting "a mostly white coterie of top advisers could turn off African-Americans," writes Martin, who notes that "Obama’s instincts clearly seem to be inclusive."