WASHINGTON--With his pick of Charlotte Mayor
Anthony Foxx to be his next Transportation Secretary, President Obama
has decided to tap a young mayor from one of the country's most vibrant
cities to join his nearly completed second-term Cabinet.
Foxx, 41, raised his national profile after the Queen City hosted last year's Democratic National Convention.
House officials, who said that the president will announce the pick on
Monday, noted that during Foxx's time in City Hall Charlotte broke
ground on the Charlotte Streetcar Project, a third parallel runaway R
Charlotte-Douglass International Airport was opened, and he worked to
extend the LYNX light rail system to University of North Carolina at
But the pick of Foxx, who holds the
distinction of being Charlotte's youngest elected mayor and second
African-American mayor in the city's history, also could help Obama dull
criticism over the racial diversity of his cabinet.
this month, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., criticized Obama for failing
to pick any African-Americans among his early picks for his second-term
"Four months into his second term, we look
to the president's Cabinet appointments only to find that he has once
again overlooked his most loyal constituency,'' Thompson said while
delivering the Congressional Black Caucus' weekly radio address.
Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus,
also complained in a letter to Obama last month that his recent Cabinet
nominees "have hardly been reflective of this country's diversity.''
was even ribbed by the comedian Conan O'Brien at Saturday's White House
Correspondents Association's annual dinner in Washington over the lack
of diversity in his Cabinet.
"Mr. President, your hair is so white it could be a member of your cabinet," O'Brien said.
confirmed, Foxx would become the second African-American in Obama's
second term Cabinet, joining Attorney General Eric Holder, a first term
The president has boasted of the diversity in his
White House and urged critics not to judge the makeup of his Cabinet
until he completed his picks.
"I would just suggest that
everybody kind of wait until they've seen all my appointments before
they rush to judgment," Obama said during a news conference Jan. 14.