The Clintons Appointed More Minorities Than Any Other Administration Had

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Appointed Assistant US Attorney for Civil Rights during the Clinton Administration,  
Deval Patrick
  is now first Black Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, winning another State House for Democrats that had been held by Republicans.  Diversity works for Democrats.

Democratic "progressive" blogs may not be entirely convinced of the value of diversity among their participants, Matt Stoller Story with under 3% Black participation at MyDD and DailyKos, but the Clintons have been practicing diversity successfully for over three decades.

With Blacks making up 20% of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, diversity is a crucial part of the winning electoral strategy and governing philosophy of the diverse Clinton team. This diary explains why the Clintons' proven competence at involving minorities and winning loyal Black and Latino support is a requisite skill for contesting and winning the Presidency.

Some whitosphere "progressive" blogs do not practice diverse recruitment, but the Clintons always have done so successfully. And their winning electoral strategy is no secret within the Black and Latino communities: Recruit and hire the best and most dedicated public servants of every color and gender. The Clintons understand that no candidate or Party that starts out by excluding 20% of its best talent based on their skin color can possibly hope to compete successfully in a diverse and challenging world. So the Clintons seek out, hire, promote and capitalize on the skills of all Democrats, and the gender and color diversity of their winning team shows the success of their efforts. This is why no anti-Clinton memes hatched in the whitosphere will ever gain traction among Black and Latino Americans. We place our trust with the Democratic Party leaders who have proven, proven that they value and practice diversity: Bill and Hillary Clinton. Winning two successful Presidential campaigns past (and two historic US Senate campaigns won in the State of New York), Bill and Hillary Clinton have proved that a political current that respects and involves all tributaries of the Democratic will attract the mightiest rushing river of votes in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primaries and the general election.

Ronald H. Brown served as an advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 campaign in which Rev. Jackson won the Michigan primary as well as others and came in second in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. After Michael Dukakis won the 1988 Democratic nomination, and as part of the price for the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s continued support of the Democratic Party, Ronald Brown was elected the first Black chairman of the Democratic Party.

As Chairman of the Democratic Party, Ronald Brown united all factions of the Democratic Party behind Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in preparation for the 1992 election. Ronald H. Brown provided crucial uniting leadership and shepherded in the only Democratic presidency of the last 30 years."I wouldn't have gotten it without you," Clinton is reported to have told Brown after the 1993 election.

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President William Jefferson Clinton and his United States Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown Because Ron Brown was a power lawyer from a blue chip firm that represented private sector clients, Brown's involvement helped give the Clinton campaign the credibility it needed with corporate America while also showing the Black community that the achievements of its star players would not be ignored by the Clinton Administration. As President Bill Clinton clearly understood, diversity works, at the ballot box and in all spheres of government. Business America

At the beginning of the first Clinton term in 1993, Ebony Magazine said,
It's the hottest story to come out of Washington since Bill Clinton broke the 12-year Republican lock on the White House. For the first time in history, four African-Americans--Ron Brown, Mike Espy, Jesse Brown and Hazel O'Leary--will hold seats in the president's cabinet. That's the largest number of Black cabinet officials ever. Just how significant are these appointments? Never before has a president appointed so many Blacks to the highest ranks of the executive branch. In fact, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, since Lyndon Johnson became the first president to appoint an African-American to his cabinet in 1966, the number of Black cabinet officials in any administration has never exceeded one. One. But it isn't just the unparalleled increase in number that makes Clinton's selections so historic. Never before has a Black American headed any of these departments: not Commerce, not Agriculture, not Energy, not Veterans Affairs. What's more, with the appointment of Clifton Wharton Jr. as the No. 2 man at the State Department, Black America has achieved yet another historic first. Ebony

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Hazel O'Leary, First Black US Secretary of Agriculture

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Dr. Jocelyn Elders, First Black Surgeon General

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Dr. David Satchel, Second Black Surgeon General

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First Latino US Ambassador to the United Nations, First Latino US Secretary of Energy, and now a two-term first Latino Governor of the State of New Mexico, bringing a Republican state house into the Democratic column.

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Governor Deval Patrick
, Assistant US Attorney for Civil Rights in the Clinton Administration and now the first Black Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Mike Espy, First African American US Secretary of Agriculture

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Hillary Clinton's campaign manager is a Latino woman, Patti Solis Doyle, a Mexican-American professional who played a crucial role in Hillary's 2000 and 2006 US Senate campaigns. The list goes on and on and on.

This is why Black voters will not be influenced by the preferences of "progressive" white blogs. When a whitosphere blog with just 1.5 - 2.5% Black members tells us who the "best" candidate is, we know they don't have our best interests at heart. To the degree that they are "color-blind", the really don't see us at all.

If the candidates favored by the "progressives" are elected, Blacks opportunities may be limited in the Washington of 2009 just as they always were before the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks refuse to go backward and we can't risk trusting in "progressives" who haven't shown a clear commitment to diversity, or have even been perceived as hostile to minority participation.

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The Clintons appointed a Jewish woman to the US Supreme Court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Clinton's commitment to diversity has paid off handsomely for the Democratic Party, with minority Clinton appointees taking over Republican statehouses in Massachusetts and New Mexico. Still, some progressives can't see the value of diversity, and that blindness to the contributions of others - past, present and future - is terribly, terribly sad and angering. But Blacks remember well. In 1993, Jet Magazine published a glowing article about a Washington event sponsored by the
Joint Center for Political Studies (only national African-American think-tank) in celebration of the Clinton Administration's appointment of a record number of Black officials. Although little-known among white progressives, the Joint Center for Political Studies is an African-American think tank supporting Democratic Party principles and providing interested candidates like the Clintons with crucial demographic, political and sociological data for meeting the needs of Black voters and winning their support at the polls.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is a national, nonprofit research and public policy institution. Founded in 1970 by black intellectuals and professionals to provide training and technical assistance to newly elected black officials, the Joint Center is recognized today as one of the nation’s premier think tanks on a broad range of public policy issues of concern to African Americans and other communities of color.

The history of the Joint Center has not only mirrored the progress African Americans have made since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but has also mirrored the nation’s political and socio-economic progress over the last three decades. When the Joint Center first opened its doors, there were 1,469 black elected officials (BEOs). There are now over 9,000 BEOs in the United States.

Increasing black political participation formed the foundation of much of the Joint Center’s work during the 70’s and the 80’s. However, as the civil rights era gave way to the era of “economic rights,” the Joint Center signaled its expanding focus on job creation and workforce development and changed its name to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The principle areas of work now include political participation, economic advancement, and health policy. The Joint Center stands primed to continue to drive the nation’s public policy discussions with independent and reliable research, analysis, and assessment.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Joint Center is governed by a board of governors. To learn more about the nation’s only black think tank and its influence in shaping public policy debates, please spend time visiting our website or call 202-789-3500 for more information. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

In 1993, at the start of the first Clinton Administration, Jet Magazine (which reports and chronicles the career success of Blacks) reported glowingly on a Washington gathering sponsored by the Joint Center to gather and celebrate the historic numbers of Blacks appointed to top roles in the Clinton Administration.

The Joint Center lauds black Clinton appointees in D.C.; Elders, Powell standouts - Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' reception for African Americans in the Clinton Administration; Joycelyn Elders, Colin Powell.

After a 12-year Republican monopoly on the White House, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' reception for Black appointees of President Clinton in Washington's Hotel Willard ballroom served as a premier VIP get-to-gether and the year's first major social function.

Not since the [1993 Clinton] inauguration had such a high number of Black administration officials congregated in the nation's capital, yet there was little celebration. Jet, August 23, 1993

Jet Magazine further reported that:

Host for the quadrennial event, first started in 1976 by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, was president Eddie Williams who mingled among the 1,000 guests introducing some of the record number of appointees never before showcased.

. . .

Quietly staying in the background was the Black man who as Democractic Party chairman had engineered the Clinton election victory - secretary of Commerce Ron Brown.

The election of the first Democratic president in more than a decade had already resulted in an infusion of millions of dollars in salaries to the VIPs but now the focus was on implementing "the quality of life" for millions of low income Americans. Jet, August 23, 1993

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Last year, President Clinton was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. In introducing Bill Clinton to the gathering, the Honorable Rodney Slater, a Black man who had served in several important positions under Clinton when he was Governor of Arkansas, said of the Clintons:

Tonight we literally welcome back a distinguished and extraordinary leader, President William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States. (Applause.) President Clinton honored us with his presence at our annual dinner in 1993, shortly after he had assumed the office of president and shortly after he had named the most diverse Cabinet in the nation’s history, a Cabinet that clearly looked like America. He is here tonight and he honors us, again, not only as our keynote speaker, but as our distinguished award recipient.

It is our pleasure, Mr. President, to have you with us again this evening. The Joint Center has actually enjoyed a long friendship with President Clinton indeed, but also with both President Clinton and Senator Clinton as well. The Clintons have long shared in the Joint Center’s mission to achieve greater racial and ethnic cooperation and a more equitable society.

The Joint Center is both grateful and proud to have worked alongside both these committed leaders in an effort to improve the quality of life for all Americans, regardless of race or class. Members of the Joint Center’s senior staff and board have had an opportunity to work closely with President Clinton as well as with Senator Clinton over the years. President Clinton actually appointed Secretary West, president of the Joint Center, first to the post of secretary of the Army and then, in his second administration, to the post of secretary of Veterans Affairs, a member of his Cabinet.

President Clinton also appointed Joint Center board member, Dr. Andrew Brimmer, to serve as the chair of the D.C. Financial Advisory Board – Financial Control Board in 1995, a post that Dr. Brimmer held for three-and-a-half years. During that time, one of the control board’s major proposals called for the federal government to assume responsibilities for a number of state-like functions. With the urging of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, President Clinton became the chief advocate for financial reforms proposed by the control board and urged Congress to approve the program, and Congress did. The reforms relieved the district of over $1 billion in financial obligations.


Mrs. Clinton also worked with Dr. Brimmer to promote public schools and to support the funding – additional funding for the school system. Also in 1995, she was honored, and she honored us, in serving as our speaker at our annual dinner. Throughout the years, the Joint Center has been able to count on not only President Clinton but also Senator Clinton, two committed leaders, as we have worked together to achieve progress on issues of concern to the minority community. I am sure that everyone is familiar with the many accomplishments of the Clinton administration and our role in working with him and members of his team to make it possible.

But think on the fact that the nation enjoyed the longest economic expansion in its history during his tenure and our work together – (applause) – record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million new jobs; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in our nation’s history.


After his presidency, President Clinton has continued in his role as a committed public servant. He established the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation in order to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. Since its establishment, the Clinton Foundation has developed programs and partnerships to address critical global issues concerning health security, economic empowerment, leadership development, and citizen service, as well as racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation. Already the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS initiative, which assists countries in implementing large-scale integrated care, treatment and prevention programs, has become a major force in fighting this epidemic.

Six months ago, the Clinton Foundation also established the Clinton Global Initiative. The initiative has brought together global leaders to develop and implement innovative strategies to solve many difficult challenges facing the world. In classic style, with an emphasis on practical, effective measures that can be used to put into practice issues and efforts now to bring out positive results, the president has called upon many to join him in that sort of effort. It demands from its participants that they commit to taking action on one of the topics discussed, and during its first meeting in September of last year, the initiative inspired almost 300 participants to commit to over 300 items valued at more than $2 billion.

The mission of the initiative is to help the world to move forward in a more integrated and global community of shared benefits, responsibilities and values. And so, these efforts, consistent with the principles and ideals of the Joint Center; these efforts, consistent with our commitment to make politics fit with our principles, it is indeed then our honor and our privilege to have President Clinton with us here tonight to speak to the challenges that we yet face as a nation and as a global community.

But more importantly, it affords us an opportunity to say to him thank you for the time we have worked together, and to say to him we look forward to the work yet to be done.

This is the sort of rich long-term collaboration and interdependence that makes for loyal and dedicated relationships in politics, transcending electoral cycles to establish lifelong commitments.

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Bill Clinton said on that night to the Black professionals gathered at the
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies,

Thank you, Michael Todman, for chairing this dinner. You know, Michael runs a company called Whirlpool, which just took over Maytag. And some of you may not know it as I do, they have a big plant in Arkansas, and when I was governor, I used to do workdays once a month. And I once made the mistake of working the 3:00 to 11:00 at night shift on a Friday at Whirlpool. (Laughter.) Those people work hard; they earn every penny they get, and he says the plant is doing well. But I’m very pleased to see you at the helm, sir, and I wish you well.

. . .

There are so many people here who have been important in my life. Ernie Green and I have been friends for a long, long time, and he just came up and hit me up tonight – (scattered laughter) – to be the chairman of the 50th anniversary celebration of the integration of Little Rock Central High School to raise some money for college scholarships for deserving young African Americans.


I think that’s a good idea. Michael Lomax and I have been friends for a very long time, and we’re now partners in our Katrina relief effort. We’re going to raise some more money for those colleges and students there.


And I thank him for what he’s doing. Dorothy Height, as a – one of our great communities in Biloxi, Mississippi where we are working on relief – and it was a gripping portrait of what happened at Katrina. So many of those people that started with Dr. Height’s help 30-something years ago had just paid off their home mortgages when Katrina hit, and we’re down there trying to help rebuild those communities. I thank you, Dorothy, for a lifetime of service.


And I don’t want to embarrass her, but when I was about to be run out of town, Susan Taylor gave the best speech [during the Congressional Impeachment Hearings] in my defense – (laughter) – of any person in the United States of America, and I will never forget it as long as I live.


Sometimes when I get depressed, I take out that talk and read it, and say, “I must not be such a bad fellow after all if she could say those things.”


And Vernon Jordan is the only man in America who turned down the opportunity to be Attorney General of the United States so he could continue to cuss the president out whenever it suited him.

(Laughter, scattered applause.)

Instead of making laws, he decided to just make me mad whenever he thought I needed it. (Laughter.) And for a lifetime of friendship and eight years of invaluable counsel, I love you and I thank you so much for everything.


You know, it’s interesting. My wife said to tell you hello tonight, but you know, she’s a big-time politician now and she’s in her hometown of Chicago speaking to this big economic club, and they – now, tonight, she’s speaking to about 2,500 people at a black-tie dinner in the middle of the week, and it’s twice as many people as they ever had before, and they turned 500 people away. So when I talked to her on the way, you just tell – she said, “Tell them I’m sorry I’m not there tonight.” . . .

What emerges from the interaction between this ex-President and this national organization of Black leaders is a profound and long-standing mutual commitment, a common commitment to liberal goals and much work to do over the next two years to assure that those goals will have the strongest possible advocates within our national government. We are part of the Clinton team, he is and his wife are integral part of our community, and we will work together in this election cycle and future ones to further our mutual goals. No everyone is linked to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, but the Clintons are and they have been more many mutually fruitful years.

Having won two Presidential campaigns past (and two historic US Senate campaigns won in the State of New York), Bill and Hillary Clinton have proved that a political current that respects and involves all tributaries of the Democratic Party will make a mighty river of votes once again for the 2008 Democratic Presidential primaries and the general election.

Whitosphere blogs interested in diversity may link to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies by pasting the following link into their HTML code:

If you know of more Blacks who played less celebrated roles in the Clinton Administration, please e-mail me at to help make this account more comprehensive.

Tags: 1992, 1996, 2008, black, racism, WHITE (all tags)


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