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I sure hope Xavier Bacerra is gay

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An Obama transition team "insider" tells a Texas newspaper that Xavier Becerra being "Latino" is one of his qualifications for being the leading candidate to replace Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary nominee. (Politico, FYI, is saying that Becerra won't take the job.)

Whether Becerra wants the job or not, the issue at hand is the diversity, or lack thereof, of the Obama cabinet. Obama already has two Latino cabinet secretary nominees, but no openly gay ones (nor closeted ones, as far as I know). Hispanics/Latinos are 15% of the US population, gays are anywhere from 2% to 10% or more, depending on the survey. So I have no quibble with including Latinos in the Cabinet. I do have a problem with establishing a quota for 3 Latinos and zero for gay and lesbian Americans.

Before anyone starts saying that this is all so crass, and that Obama should pick the "best person" for the job - that horse has already left the barn. Obama isn't picking the best "person," per his own transition official. He's picking the best "Latino person," per his own staff's admission. If we're going to play the quota game - and I'm not opposed to finally having a presidential cabinet that looks like America - then let's play it fairly and have the Cabinet actually look like America. Obama has the chance to put his words about equality into action, is it that much to ask that we finally be given a place at the table?

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