For the first time since 2000, there are no Asian Americans in the White House cabinet.
The resignation of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki means that, for the first time since the Clinton administration in 2000, “there will be no Asian-American members of the Cabinet, a marked shift for a minority community that was once disproportionately overrepresented.”
That’s according to this article in The Daily Beast, which says Asian-American groups are largely shrugging off the news.
“The uninterest in the issue also demonstrates the lack of Asian-American political power in 2014,” according to the article. “Though they represent roughly 6 percent of the country’s population, the community is dispersed across a series of different ethnicities, languages and cultures.”
Shinseki’s departure means that Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, elected in 2012 after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, “is now the highest-ranking Asian-American public official in the United States.”
Hirono is followed on that list by Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) .
There are also a number of Asian-American U.S. representatives, including Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii, who is running against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Aug. 9 primary.
Hawaii has a large Asian-American population. In addition to Congress, the state has also elected Asian Americans to serve as governor and lieutenant governor.