The good news: President Obama is finally getting some scrutiny in the liberal media. The bad news: The scrutiny is usually from Obama's left and on absurd matters such as the diversity of the president's Cabinet, as judged by skin color and sex organs.
Take today's Washington Post, which devoted 21 paragraphs on page A7 to "Obama's bypassing of women for Defense, CIA posts." The "[c]hoice of white men disappointing to those who call for diversity," lamented the subheader to David Nakamura's January 8 story. Nakamura opened his article by observing "some critics noticed one thing that stood out" when President Obama "brought his Pentagon and CIA chiefs together Monday with their potential replacements... Each of them was a white man."
Despite that fact that Obama "made women's issues a core of his reelection bid," he's "nominated men to serve in three of his most prominent national security positions, including secretary of state, where Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) was named last month to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton," Nakamura observed. These picks "have disappointed some supporters who said they fear, with Clinton's departure, a paucity of women among Obama's top advisors, particularly in the traditionally male-dominated field of defense and security."
What's more, when it comes to the U.S. government's top financial post, Secretary of Treasury, "[t]he leading candidate... is reportedly White House Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew" although a woman, "Lael Brainard, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, has also been mentioned." Before serving in the Obama administration, Brainard worked for eight years at the center-left Brookings Institution.
Perhaps to soften the blow a bit, Nakamura buried deep in the article an observation by New York University professor Paul C. Light that the second-term Obama Cabinet "could be even less diverse than George W. Bush's Cabinet." Comparing Obama unfavorably to Bush? Talk about fighting words!
To his credit, however, Nakamura noted that the Obama campaign gleefully seized on opponent Mitt Romney's now famous "binders full of women" remark in a debate in which the former Massachusetts governor tried to underscore his commitment to a diverse Cabinet with highly-qualified women in key positions of responsibility:
Obama picked up on the line during his stump speeches, telling one audience that “when the next president and Congress could tip the balance of the highest court in the land in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come, you don’t want someone to ask for binders of women.”
To many on the right and center, the Obama campaign's strong focus on so-called women's issues was little more than a cynical micro-targeting ploy to gin up the Democratic base vote. Nakamura comes close to airing that criticism, but doesn't.
Liberal feminists may feel that the president's election is owed in large part to the single women's vote, which broke strongly in Obama's favor. But left completely unexplored by Nakamura is this: If you win reelection in part because of a cynical appeal to women for their votes not on the economy or foreign policy or national security, why incentive do you have to listen to feminists about the importance of putting women in Cabinet posts that deal with those policy concerns?