We’re about halfway through the transition period between election and inauguration, and it seems a good moment to take stock of the message President-elect Obama is sending to the women of America. So far, it’s not an encouraging one.
First, there was the Larry Summers appointment. Whatever Summers’ gifts in terms of economic policy — and those are debatable — he’s an intellectual trainwreck when it comes to gender. His absurd and groundless views on women’s inherent inferiority make him an appalling choice for a senior post in anyone’s government.
Then there’s Jon Favreau, head speechwriter and would-be groper. We’ve spoken on the Favreau business at length, which is more than we can say for President-elect Obama. As of this writing, we haven’t heard a peep out him. Not a word. His head speechwriter is shown emulating a sexual assault, and Mr. Obama has nothing to say. (Perhaps he needs a second speechwriter, one to whip up a statement on the first speechwriter.)
And finally there’s the Cabinet count, which is growing ever more lopsided. The latest semi-official word is that Steven Chu will be the new Secretary of Energy, bringing the male-female ratio in the Cabinet to 10-to-3. Dr. Chu is an unusual choice for a Cabinet secretary, having absolutely no experience in government, but he does share one key characteristic with the overwhelming majority of President-elect Obama’s appointees: he’s a guy.
37 days down, 40 to go. Not looking too good.