Caucus Pushes for Black Commerce Secretary

Obama considering Symantec CEO—and a GOP senator
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 1:44 AM CST
Caucus Pushes for Black Commerce Secretary
Rep. Jesse Jackson and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus want Symantec CEO John Thompson appointed commerce secretary.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Congressional Black Caucus is lobbying President Obama to name a black commerce secretary. The caucus is pushing for technology executive John Thompson, CEO of software security company Symantec and an Obama contributor, to fill the post, reports the Hill. Obama has so far appointed only four African Americans to his cabinet. Thompson is the only black executive who leads a major US technology firm.

A letter from the 38-member caucus to Obama commends him for "making diversity a priority," and reminds him of President Clinton's cabinet posts, which included seven African Americans. Obama is reportedly considering Thompson but aides have also approached New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg about the job, reports the New York Times. Obama quipped recently that finding the right dog for his family “has been harder than finding a commerce secretary.” 
(More Congressional Black Caucus stories.)

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