Yesterday President Barack Obama nominated Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce and Mike Froman as U.S. trade representative. You can read the president’s spin on Pritzker’s “distinguished” business leadership here.
Although this nomination has been expected for months, it still sends an unfortunate message. Pritzker was one of the largest bundlers for Obama’s re-election campaign and one of the largest donors to his inaugural festivities, so the president has overlooked union-busting by her family’s Hyatt Hotel chain, as well as her union-busting as a member of the Chicago Board of Education, her aggressive use of legal means to avoid taxes on her massive wealth, and her role in managing a subprime lender (hat tip to Susie Madrak). Organized labor groups will be furious.
Pritzker will probably sail through the Senate confirmation process. Too bad the president didn’t hold back this nomination until Senate votes on his other cabinet appointees. I would hate to see corporate interest groups tank Gina McCarthy, Obama’s excellent choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Any comments about the administration are welcome in this thread.