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Washingtonians shut out of Obama cabinet

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:55 am with No Comments »
December 17, 2008 11:55 am

Okay, we’re up here in the corner of the country – out of sight and apparently out of mind.

But it’s not like we don’t have a lot of people here. We’re not Wyoming.

So why is it that year after year, president after president, no Washingtonians are named to a presidential cabinet. In 120 years of statehood, just three cabinet members have claimed Washington as their state of residence.

That’s one every four decades!

Barack Obama still has a few spots to fill. But unless we land the CIA directorship or the secretaries of Labor and Transportation, we’ll be denied a spot again. How long has it been? Jimmy Carter is the last president to find someone from Washington worthy of a cabinet post.

The names still being tossed around are U.S. Reps. Adam Smith and Jay Inslee, former Gov. Gary Locke and King County Executive Ron Sims.

My Thursday column includes the names of the three cabinet members from Washington. If you can’t wait until then, look here.

Washington cabinet members: Brock Adams, Transportation, Carter Administration; Lewis B. Schwellenbach, Labor, Truman Administration; Richard Ballinger, Interior, Taft Administration.

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