Hillary Clinton often invokes breaking the glass ceiling in her bid for the presidency.
But next week’s election could also shatter a glass ceiling if the next president, be it Clinton or Donald Trump, takes aim: No woman has served as treasury secretary, defense secretary or veterans affairs secretary, according to an analysis by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutger’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
The center noted that Clinton last spring declared she would have a Cabinet “that looks like America, and 50 percent of American is women, right?”
Trump, too, has promised he would “absolutely” have women in his Cabinet.
“I’ve probably had 50 percent or maybe even more than that in executive positions in the Trump organization,” he told Christian Broadcast Network’s Pat Robertson.
The survey of Cabinet members appointed by President Barack Obama, along with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, found that 19 women have served as Cabinet secretaries. Clinton appointed more white women and more people of color than prior administrations, wrote the author, MaryAnne Borrelli, a government professor at Connecticut College.
That included naming women to the “inner Cabinet” of secretaries of state, treasury and defense and the attorney general, Borrelli said.
Bush and Obama “also diversified the Cabinet until many departments had been led at least once by either a person of color or a white woman,” she wrote.
Clinton last week announced that her 2016 Election Day party will be at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, which boasts a glass ceiling.
She memorably invoked the glass ceiling in 2008, after conceding to Obama and urging her supporters to back him. The so-called glass ceiling that keeps women from reaching the top, she said at the time, now has “18 million cracks in it.”
Though there’s no official list out yet, there has been speculation that Clinton would pick Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary. Flournoy was floated as a possible Obama choice in 2014 after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his resignation, but took her name out of the running.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a former VA assistant secretary, could be a contender for the VA position, if she doesn’t defeat Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
Speculation about Trump’s Cabinet selections has centered on his business friends and inner circle, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former rival Ben Carson.