For Mr Biden and his transition team, selecting key jobs has become an ever-changing puzzle as they hunt for qualified candidates, get along with the elected president and help create the ethnic and gender mosaic that would be noticeable in contrast to being president Trump’s government.
Ms. Fudge’s allies, including Rep. James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and one of Mr Biden’s most prominent black supporters during the 2020 campaign, had urged the President-elect to send Ms. Fudge to the Department of Agriculture where she had hoped to to shift the agency’s focus from agriculture to hunger, including in urban areas.
Instead, Mr Biden chose Mr Vilsack, who is white and comes from an important rural farming state.
But the decision to send Ms. Fudge to the HUD instead, viewed by some stakeholders as a more traditional place for a black secretary, may disappoint those who push her, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus of which she is a former Chairperson. The current Housing Secretary, Ben Carson, is Black.
Just hours after Mr. Biden made his historic election of General Austin as Secretary of Defense, a group of black civil rights activists called on Mr. Biden to appoint a black attorney general and make civil rights a higher priority.
“He said if he won he would do something about criminal justice, police reform and especially mass detention,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and talk show host, in an interview Tuesday prior to a meeting with Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “He flew to Houston to meet before I delivered the eulogy for George Floyd. He made specific commitments. I say promises made, let’s see if promises are kept. “