John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Cabinet of curiosity

I was doing a crossword the other day, and came across the clue [Clinton Cabinet secretary]. Four letters, second and third letters EN. Oh, that's easy, I thought, and promptly wrote in PENA, as in Federico Peña, Clinton's first Secretary of Transportation. I quickly realized that the correct answer was, in fact, RENO, but my mistake caused me to reflect on the perhaps slightly interesting fact that I could recall at an instant's notice the less familiar of the two Clinton Cabinet secretaries with four-letter last names with E and N as the second and third letters, a man who left the Department of Transportation ten years ago and who has for the most part been out of public life ever since, yet could not name the current Secretary of Transportation.

I bring this up now because I've just read a feature on Slate about the anonymous nature of the current Cabinet. Looking over the list of current Cabinet secretaries, I see five names that I don't ever remember seeing before, though in fairness to myself two of those people are acting Secretaries. There's a quiz at the end of the article, challenging the reader to match the Cabinet secretaries with their departments and, even tougher, their photos. I was able to match six correctly, though I'm not sure I could have gotten that many had I not been given a list of names from which to choose. I only matched two of the photos. But I did get bonus points for knowing the one remaining member of Bush's Cabinet. Can you do better?

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