WASHINGTON (AP) So far, Obama's only pick from the region is a borderline Southerner. Dallas mayor Ron Kirk has been named U.S. trade representative.
Georgia Republican congressman Jack Kingston says it's hard to
believe there's nobody from the South who's qualified for a major
The South accounted for nearly half of the 22 states Obama lost
to Republican John McCain on Election Day, although Obama won
surprise victories in North Carolina and Virginia. Democrats also
won key congressional races in Alabama and Mississippi.
Obama officials declined to discuss the dearth of Southerners
among his top aides. But they say Obama's staff will be one of the
most diverse and qualified in history.
They pointed out that one very prominent Southern voice in the
administration will be his press secretary, Robert Gibbs. The
Alabama native has worked for several Southern Democrats on Capitol
They also note that Lisa Jackson, Obama's choice to lead the
Environmental Protection Agency, grew up in New Orleans. But she
has spent much of her career in New Jersey and New York.