New Obama Administration members Desiree Rogers and Valerie Jarrett with Linda Rice Johnson of Ebony Magazine (left-to-right) at a social event. Rogers and Jarrett will be part of the Obama White House team.
Beautiful and brilliant, I have to say I’ve been so far impressed with the black women who are popping up as potential parts of the administration. While I’m looking forward to which other black and other minority women and men who will be joining the them, here are the so far “fantastic four” of the Obama Administration.
New Job: White House Social Secretary
Super power: Party! Party! Party! Rogers is super social butterfly, big on the socialite scene in Chicago with her business connections and ability to have a good time
Obama Connection: Michelle Obama
From The Washington Post:
Rogers, 49, is a friend of Michelle and President-elect Barack Obama’s, and a leader in Chicago corporate and civic circles; her appointment signals that the first couple consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the country and the globe. She was a major fundraiser for Obama.
Claim to fame: Rogers was most recently with Allstate Financial, where she was “creating a social network of clients and consumers.” She was also once president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Rogers, who studied at Wellesley College and later earned an MBA from Harvard, was once married to Chicagoan John Rogers, Ariel Capital Management chief and another close Obama friend and fundraiser.
Her first highly visible post was in state government. She managed the lottery for then-Gov. Jim Edgar in the ’90s, appearing on TV giving away pots of money.
Why she’s fabulous: According to Obama friend Valerie Jarrett — “This appointment sends a strong message that the Obamas want to use the White House strategically, to maximize its use in a way that is consistent with their philosophy — [to] open it to a broader range of people, ” said Valerie Jarrett, an Obama intimate and friend of Rogers’s who also will work in the White House. “Desirée is a heavy hitter — she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country. She’s close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy.”
New Job: White House Senior Adviser
Super power: Tenacious Charm and Outward Brilliance. She also managed to smooth things over with Clinton supporters, bringing them under the fold after the contentious primary race and she works as Obama’s outreach to leaders within the black community
Obama Connection: She’s a close and personal friend/mentor of Michelle, then later Barack
From The New York Times:
“I can count on someone like Valerie to take my hand and say, You need to think about these three things,” Mrs. Obama said. “Like a mom, a big sister, I trust her implicitly.”
Claim to fame: “A protégée of Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago, Ms. Jarrett served as his planning commissioner, ran a real estate company, the Habitat Company — whose management of public housing projects has come under scrutiny with Ms. Jarrett’s rise — and sits on too many boards to count. She is an expert in urban affairs, particularly housing and transportation, in an administration expected to lavish more money and attention on cities than its predecessors.” (NYT)
Why she’s fabulous: While new to Washington she’s ready to hit the ground running in an effort to avoid the pratfalls that hindered hometown heroes like herself from making it in the Capitol.
She’s tiny, but mighty, mighty powerful, in spite of being “underestimated” due to her ethnicity, gender, height, pixie haircut, being the only black woman in the boardroom and the fact that she’s very “girlish” with a “singsong voice and suits that earned her a recent profile in Vogue.” (NYT)
Name: Susan Rice
Potential Role: Ambassador to the United Nations
Super power: Anti-Genocide Warrior (she has also penned the occasional column for Huffington Post)
From the International Herald Tribune:
The choice of Rice to represent the United States before the United Nations will make her one of the most visible faces of the Obama administration to the outside world aside from Clinton. It will also send to the world organization a prominent and forceful advocate of stronger action, including military force if necessary, to stop mass killings like those in the Darfur region of Sudan in recent years.
Obama Connection: She’s a warrior. She needed no such connections! Actually, she’s a former Clintonite who switched sides.
Claim to fame: She’s considered brilliant and tough.
Writes the International Herald Tribune:
If confirmed, Rice at 44 would be the second-youngest ambassador to the United Nations. A Rhodes scholar who earned a doctorate in international relations at Oxford University, she joined Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff in 1993 before rising to assistant secretary of state for African affairs at age 32. When Obama decided to run for president, she signed up as one of his top advisers, much to the consternation of the Clinton camp, which resented what it saw as a defection.
Some colleagues from her Clinton and Obama days said Rice can be blunt and unafraid to “mix it up,” as one put it, on behalf of issues she cares about. Rice herself acknowledges a certain impatience at times.
Admirers said she is a good listener and able to stand up to strong personalities, including foreign autocrats and militants in volatile regions of the world.
“Susan certainly is tough, and she’s tough in exactly the right way,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state and now president of the Brookings Institution, where Rice has worked in recent years. “She’s intellectually tough, she’s tough in her approach to how the policymaking process should work and she will be very effective as a diplomat.”
Why she’s fabulous: Goodness, she wants to stop genocide in Darfur in the Sudan. That makes her fabulous enough. Good luck to her on that.
She’s also not John Bolton, Bush’s former recess appointment as Ambassador to the UN. Bolton, like much of Bush and Co., didn’t believe in the purpose of the UN or giving it any power — real or perceived. Therefore they sent a man to work at frustrating and undermining the organization our country help found and headquarters. (He’s already bitching over Obama elevating the ambassadorship back to a cabinet level position as it was under President Bill Clinton.) Under the long list of reasons why the world hates us you will find John Bolton’s name. Rice is going to get a standing ovation just for not being him.
Name: Michelle Obama (You know she’s the leader of the Fantastic Four. How could I not put her here? She’s bigger than Oprah and Beyonce combined at this point.)
New Job: First Lady of the United States
Super power: She’s a nearly 6 foot tall Glamazon. She’s Wonder Woman. Seriously. She’s got that golden lasso lying around here somewhere.
Obama Connection: She’s Mrs. Obama
Claim to fame: She’s an Ivy League educated attorney with an accomplished career, two beautiful daughters and a devoted husband who just happens to be the “leader of the free world.”
Why she’s fabulous: She’s Michelle Obama. She wasn’t made fabulous. She was born that way.
PS. The Black Snob will be following the actions, careers, lives of almost any black, brown or minority person with a business card and a tic-tac in their mouths working for the Obama Administration. Everything from the serious to the supersillious to the “OMG! What are they WEARING!!!” Send your info to me now, now, now! Especially if you are a black, brown, Asian, Latino, female, male, warm-blooded person with a pulse — or a vampire, I don’t discriminate — who works in DC and likes to pass along “OMG! What are they WEARING!!!” news tips and pictures, among other things.
Send your tips n’ pics to The Black Snob at email@example.com!
And look to future coverage of more men and women of the comi
ng Obama Administration. January 20, 2009, people! It’s going down! It’s the Freaknik of Hope, only everyone is sober and will keep their clothes on (because it’s freezing outside in DC in January). Yeah! Nerdy black people! We’re finally taking over! Bwaaa-haaa-haaa!