Most of us can probably say there’s no position for which we’d want Donald Trump to nominate in his cabinet, but he just made a pick that will make McConnell happy nonetheless. Sources say Donald Trump is set to announce former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as his choice to head the Department of Transportation later today. She ran the Labor Department during George W. Bush’s presidency, and was seen at Trump Tower last week meeting with The Donald.
According to CBS Local; The announcement was expected later in the day, according to a Trump transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
Chao was the first Asian American woman to serve in a president’s Cabinet. She also is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Chao came to the United States from Taiwan with her family at age 8. Her family settled in New York, where her father, James Si-Cheng Chao, became a wealthy shipping magnate.
Chao received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard. She went on to become head of the Peace Corps and deputy secretary at the Transportation Department. She was head of the United Way of America and worked at a Washington think tank before becoming labor secretary.
As labor secretary, her job was to protect the nation’s workforce, including setting safety standards and addressing issues related to wages and retirement. She updated overtime regulations for “white-collar” workers and rules intended to force unions to disclose more details on their financial condition to members.
Chao had been on the board of directors for Bloomberg Philanthropies, run by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She resigned last year after learning the organization planned to expand an environmental initiative to shutter coal-fired power plants.
Is this just another example of Trump putting together a Lincoln-esque team of rivals? Or is Trump currying favor with the Republican establishment? OR…is Chao simply the best qualified candidate for the job?
What do you think?