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Column: Was the Nation Not Ready for a Woman FBI Director?

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the end, President Obama opted for a white guy — and a lawyer at that — to head the FBI.

It appears America is not quite ready for a woman, or a black person for that matter, to head what the White House and some others clearly see as the most important federal law enforcement agency in the country.

I was skeptical that the President would pick a woman to head the FBI, even though the DEA,  U.S. Secret Service,  U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security are headed up by women. It just seems like one last hurdle — be it psychological or chauvinistic — presidential administrations have not been willing to jump over.

The press is reporting that Obama will pick James Comey, a former Justice Department deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush. Lawyers seem to be a popular choice to head the FBI. Robert S. Mueller III is a former federal prosecutor. So was Louis Freeh, though Freeh was also a former FBI agent and federal judge. Though it’s not hard to find FBI agents who were critical of either Freeh or Mueller, or both.

There had been speculation that a woman might get the nod.

Lisa Monaco

Specifically, Lisa O. Monaco had been mentioned as a front runner.  She is a former federal prosecutor who currently serves as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Another woman’s name that had  popped up was Jana Monroe, the former FBI special agent in charge of the Phoenix division, who is now Director, Corporate Security & Business Continuity Management at Southern California Edison in the Los Angeles area.

Whether Monaco or Monroe were actually the best choice is another question. Who knows?

Mike Mason, an African American ex-FBI official, who was the choice of the FBI Agents Association two years ago, didn’t seem to be in the mix this time around. This year, the association pushed for U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent.

If Comey is confirmed, and serves out his 10-ear term, that will take us to 2023.

Will the country be ready for a woman to head the FBI then?

We shall see.

Then again, if it were up to J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau still might not have women agents.

READER COMMENTS

Comment from stvnbrwn54

Who knows about the nation’s readiness for a woman director, whatever the hell that means. I do know the nation is “ready” for idiodic journalists obsessed about gender to get a life!

****

Comment from Joe Bravo

Another lost opportunity. Another disappointment. And this, after re-election.

****

Comment from  craigmonson

The nation elected a black president, “the DEA, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security are headed up by women” and yet there is some “psychological” or “chauvanistic” hurdle against a woman to head the FBI? Given the facts quoted in the article, I find it extremely hard to accept the author’s conclusion.

Rather, I think the decision is based on a number of factors–qualifications, political correctness, ease of confirmation, public image, etc. etc. I doubt gender or race played any negative role at all in the decision….

*****

 Comment from jbeckman

Unbelievable obssession with gender and race. The dynamics of racism are quickly reversing. A “white guy” is now a dissapointment in any position. This reporter could learn something from this President who has not used race in his agenda. Perhaphs some day the country will be ready for less “white guy” journalists and more women and minorities. Weak attempt at journalism and reporting. I am glad I stumbled onto this one.

 


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Comment from stvnbrwn54
Time May 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

Who knows about the nation’s readiness for a woman director, whatever the hell that means. I do know the nation is “ready” for idiodic journalists obsessed about gender to get a life!

Comment from Joe Bravo
Time May 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

Another lost opportunity. Another disappointment. And this, after re-election.

Comment from craigmonson
Time May 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

The nation elected a black president, “the DEA, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security are headed up by women” and yet there is some “psychological” or “chauvanistic” hurdle against a woman to head the FBI? Given the facts quoted in the article, I find it extremely hard to accept the author’s conclusion.

Rather, I think the decision is based on a number of factors–qualifications, political correctness, ease of confirmation, public image, etc. etc. I doubt gender or race played any negative role at all in the decision….

Comment from jbeckman
Time May 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

Unbelievable obssession with gender and race. The dynamics of racism are quickly reversing. A “white guy” is now a dissapointment in any position. This reporter could learn something from this President who has not used race in his agenda. Perhaphs some day the country will be ready for less “white guy” journalists and more women and minorities. Weak attempt at journalism and reporting. I am glad I stumbled onto this one.

Comment from cv60pao
Time June 4, 2013 at 4:41 am

Here the choice : a male lawyer who is a former Deputy Attorney General or a female former FBI agent who heads security now for a utility company ?

Comment from harrythebody
Time June 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

The author fell short of advocating for a disabled wifle member who is lesbian and of color. Complete nonsense, this article.

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