North Carolina Rep. Melvin Watt’s name is in the news as a potential pick to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, one week after the new chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a blistering letter to President Barack Obama complaining about his record of nominating African-Americans to his Cabinet.
But the trial balloon is getting a mixed reaction from CBC members who say the post, while important, isn’t exactly what they had in mind.
“The problem is that most people, including African-Americans, will not know what that job is. It’s one of those jobs that operates mainly in the shadows in Washington because it’s not that sexy,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, the CBC’s most recent former chairman.
“Given a choice, you would like to be Commerce secretary,” the Missouri Democrat continued. Commerce is the Cabinet position the CBC suggested for Watt in a letter to Obama.
Cleaver added: “But you can’t say that they offered him a nothing position. … It’s not like they are offering him to be the secretary of the ‘Save the Otter Foundation.’” (Roll Call)