Obama Cabinet may not meet his own diversity standards

With Susan Rice out of the running for secretary of State, all of the president’s second-term appointees to date have been white males. Just wait, his spokesman says.

WASHINGTON — Wednesday’s “photo of the day” on the White House website showed an unusual sight in Oval Office history — the president surrounded by top advisors, only half of whom are white men.

The picture seemed calculated to counter criticism that President Obama’s new set of Cabinet appointees so far all are white and male.

Obama is expected to name his chief of staff, Jacob Lew, to lead the Treasury Department. Further compounding the diversity problem, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to leave the administration soon, and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced Wednesday that she was resigning.

Following Solis’ decision, three Cabinet officials quickly spread the word that they planned to stay, at least for now: Eric H. Holder Jr., the first black attorney general; Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; and Veterans Affairs chief Eric K. Shinseki, who is Japanese American.

But the concerns still hover over the president as he attempts to craft a team that lives up to the diversity standards of his first term. Aides say Obama raised