The quest to build the most diverse Cabinet in US history, explained

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Joe Biden taking a selfie with supporters at a rally in Virginia on Election Day in 2019. | Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post/Getty Images

What we know about who will govern if Joe Biden wins.

Officially, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign believe that three weeks before Election Day is far too soon to think about Cabinet nominees or how to fill any other top White House jobs. But there’s already a formal Joe Biden/Kamala Harris transition team in place doing just that.

Advisers say Biden wants to build “the most diverse Cabinet in history” as part of his goal of serving as a “transitional figure” in an increasingly diverse Democratic Party and country.

This is in some ways a low bar — every single Treasury secretary and every single secretary of defense (or “secretary of war,” as the position used to be called) has been a white straight man. Women are the lead contenders for both of these jobs, which would be a huge step forward.

People involved emphasize that this is not about tokenism; they are looking at the Cabinet as a whole. The reality is that not all Cabinet positions are created equal. They want to make sure women…


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