Thursday, December 18, 2008

Solis to Be Obama’s Pick for Labor

One more post to be filled. Yesterday I had read some reports (read leaks, but from whom?) that Governor Jennifer Granholm was slated for appointment to the Labor post. Now I see reports that wasn't interested. And now reports are out that the post will be filled by a Represenative from California.

Representative Hilda Solis, a California Democrat, is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Labor secretary, according to Democratic officials.

Not a name I'm familiar with, frankly.

Solis, 51, is a four-term member of Congress with an extensive record on environmental issues. Her legislative accomplishments include spearheading a bill to provide workers with training for “green-collar” employment. Such initiatives are a hallmark of Obama’s plan to address the country’s energy needs and create new jobs.

I am not sure why a person's age is always reported. A liberal Democrat from California, who is a Hispanic woman. It'll be interesting to look at the Cabinet as a whole and break it down.

Solis, who grew up in a union household in Los Angeles County, is a favorite of labor groups, including the Service Employees International Union.

A conciliatory gesture to labor. Perhaps even more, a signal.

Labor officials have been grumbling recently that some of Obama’s Cabinet choices lack strong labor ties. Union chiefs also question why Obama didn’t announce his choice for Labor secretary when he introduced his core economic team, putting them on alert about what kind of influence the Labor Department will have in the new administration.

A lot of liberals, a lot of Democrats have been grumbling about Obama appoinments, while Republicans and moderates have been largely, even almost completely, quiet. Of course, the right wing is trying to tar Obama with a Blagojevich brush (coz they got nothing else to pin on him for now, rumours of his Communism having been proven wholly exaggerated, er, false).

Solis would succeed Elaine Chao, who has held the job for all eight years of the Bush administration, making her the longest-serving Labor secretary since Frances Perkins under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

That's an interesting tidbit.

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