Inside the Biden administration: a closer look at President Biden’s cabinet picks

Less than a month into his time as president, Joe Biden is already receiving plenty of praise, not just for repealing President Trump’s ban on transgender people joining the military, but for the diverse group of people he has chosen to help lead the country alongside him.

His ideal cabinet members (not all of them have been appointed yet) would make for a more diverse administration than has been seen by the past few presidents or ever before. Biden’s potential cabinet is made up of almost 45% women. This is a significant difference from the past two presidents, as under the Trump Administration the cabinet was made up of only 18% women, and even under President Obama women were only 36% of the group. In addition, if confirmed, his administration would be 55% nonwhite compared to 45% under Obama and 18% under President Trump. The Trump Administration was nearly three-quarters, or 73% white men; however, Biden’s plans to be only 32% white men, the same under President Obama. Moreover, 95% of Biden’s appointees have previous government experience, compared to the 86% under Obama and 68% under Trump.

Given the racial injustice the country has seen, not just in the past few months but throughout its entire history, many are pleased to see that Biden is choosing representatives from various backgrounds. Because President Biden’s ideal administration is so different from that of the president before him, many also think it sends the message that change is coming. And while these may be national decisions, representation within the federal government has an effect on everyone, especially students. CHS sophomore Claire Myers and freshman Manon Robar explained why students should care about cabinet picks.

“I think diversity helps promote and further encourage equality,” Myers said. … It’s great for children of color to grow up and see people who look like them involved in politics. … As much as people say all men and women are the same, we aren’t; we aren’t all the same. We all deserve the same respect, but we all bring different things to the table.”

Robar shares similar thoughts, and is happy to see President Biden working to include all Americans in his administration. She also believes that his balance of left and right wing views will help to segway the country into being a better place for all it’s people.

“Having a government group with so much power representing the percentages of races and genders of our country accurately is a step towards a more equal and advanced society,” said Robar. “Having such an inclusive and representative cabinet sends the public the message that Biden has heard the peoples’ pleas to make the United States a place that is actually for everyone.”

There is no doubt that, percentage wise, there is a drastic difference between those chosen to serve alongside President Biden, and those who served alongside President Trump. The variety of gender, racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs that Biden has introduced has not been seen before.

“As a president you have responsibility—you choose the best people in helping lead your nation, not … what maybe some of our past presidents have done (choosing what you think is best for your personal beliefs), but rather what is best for your country as a whole,” Myers said. “ I think it’s smart to have people that are experienced in the more nitty gritty parts of politics. … I think it was very smart of him [Joe Biden] to hire all these people that have a lot of experience.”

The pandemic has placed uncertainty and fear in the minds of many Americans. Because of this many, including Robar, tend to find the level of experience in the Biden Administration reassuring.

“It sends the message to the country and people that we are being led by people who are capable of keeping our country safe, equal, and working well,” said Robar.

In addition to the increased diversity that Biden has introduced, he has also appointed some individuals who are “firsts” for their positions. Pete Buttigieg, the appointed Transportation Secretary, is the first openly gay cabinet member to be confirmed. Biden’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is the first African American Secretary of Defense the country has had. Biden has also appointed the first press team made up entirely of women. This team includes the Communications Director, Press Secretary, Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President, Communications Director for the First Lady, Deputy Communications Director, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. These nominations have been inspiring to many women, who have, throughout history, not been chosen to fill the same positions as men. As an ethnic minority, Myers is one of those personally affected and inspired by the greater opportunity for women and people of color to hold political office.

“Being such a diverse country, it’s nice to see that we finally have a diverse cabinet to accurately represent that,” Myers said.

Although President Biden is less than a month into his presidency, and many of his cabinet appointees are still in the process of being approved by the Senate, the nation is clearly headed in a new and different direction, a change which many Americans welcome. And as presidential cabinets grow more and more diverse, students everywhere will be able to see themselves reflected in the nation’s leaders.