But a confluence of factors is making the frat-house syndrome seem worse than it is.
1. Obama has in recent days nominated Sen. John Kerry to go to State, former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Defense secretary, and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head the CIA, and is reportedly about to name White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew as his next Treasury secretary. All white, all guys.
2. Hillary Clinton is leaving. Yes, I know I already said that. But she is such a powerful symbol and role model that her absence will leave a void larger than just one woman. In addition, her departure means that men will be in charge at State, Treasury, Defense and Justice—the top four Cabinet posts, ranking fourth through seventh in the presidential line of succession (after the vice president, House speaker and president pro tempore of the Senate).
3. Three women in the running for top jobs, or who should have been serious candidates, have been passed over. Foremost is Rice, reportedly Obama’s top choice to succeed Clinton, but unable to convince key Republicans she did not mislead the public on the murders of U.S. personnel in Benghazi. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Michele Flournoy was a top candidate for the Pentagon job, but Obama chose Hagel. Lael Brainard, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, much talked about in some circles to succeed outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is losing out to Lew.