Hey! Have you heard about Kamala Harris?
She’s the first a) woman, b) African-American, c) Southeast Asian to be vice president of the United States.
If you haven’t heard, you must have been under a rock for the past three months.
I’m not mocking her. Hers was quite an achievement and checked three boxes for identity-obsessed Democrats.
It speaks well of Joe Biden’s temperament to select a woman who basically called him a racist (“That little girl was me”) and a rapist (Harris always believes the woman making the accusation, and Tara Reade did say she was assaulted by Biden).
But I don’t want to get into all that.
The topic is “firsts” and President Biden wants to be the President of Firsts, even if he can’t, like George Washinton, be first in hearts of his country
men. Countrypeople, I mean.
Today, we are so shattered, no one can be a true “first” in the hearts of Americans.
A year ago, I asked faithful Democrats if it were even possible that the national ticket would be two white (straight) men.
Not one Democrat said yes. You didn’t need a Magic 8 ball to see that one coming.
In the campaign, Biden promised to select a woman as his vice president (and a Black woman for the Supreme Court, if he gets the chance. You can bet it won’t be Condi Rice.)
His promise was multi-functional: It (finally) broke the glass ceiling for women, for Blacks (we already had a Black president, some of you will recall), and an Indian. (The kind that run 7-Elevens and Dunkin’ Donuts, Biden once notoriously remarked). The choice of Harris was designed to help him with her triple entity, plus those who dislike Wawa and Starbucks.
But that was just the beginning.
Uncle Joe had a lot more “firsts” up his sleeve. (But first, he is the first Delawarean to be elected president, and the first 78-year-old.) You get a Blue Ribbon for first and Biden’s handing them out like gum drops. It does get a bit tiresome, I must admit..
This is a parallel to the new cliche, that people want to see elected officials “who look like me.” This is a phrase you never hear in a police lineup, but I’m looking for a senior citizen white Jew with a bum leg.
In an early wave of appointments, we had Deb Haaland, the first Native American to be Secretary of the Interior; Janet Yellen, the first female Secretary of the Treasury (but no, not the first Jew): Xavier Becerra, first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services (but the fourth Californian).
Wait — there’s more. But it’s a little boring, so I will create a few “firsts” of my own. You can try to separate reality from fantasy.
Marcia Fudge, first African-American Housing and Urban Development Secretary to be named after a candy.
Merrick Garland, first U.S. Attorney General to drive a Volvo.
Pete Buttigieg, first openly gay Secretary of Transportation.
Marty Walsh, first Labor Secretary to have headed a Laborers Union.
Rachel Levine, first known trans person to be appointed to any federal post.
Jennifer Granholm, first Energy Secretary to be the daughter of immigrants. (OK, it was only Canada, but still….)
Alejandro Mayorkas, the first Cuban-Jewish man to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the first Ambassador to the UN to wear Spanks.
Williams Burns is the first CIA Director unable to keep a secret.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is the first man to serve in this capacity who formerly had been a croupier.
Lloyd Austiin is the first African-American Secretary of Defense.
Antony Blinken is the first Secretary of State to wear a toupee.
John Kerry, Presidential Envoy for Climate, is the first person to hold this job who has more homes than toes.
Michael S. Regan, first Environmental Protection Agency Administrator who likes “clean coal.”
Gina Raimondo, first Commerce Secretary to have been governor of Rhode Island.
Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs to not “first” serve in the military.
Avril Haines, first Director of National Intelligence, to have been a backup singer for Taylor Swift.
Jake Sullivan, first National Security Advisor to confess membership in the patriarchy.
Neera Tanden is the first leader of the Center for American Progress to hold a real job, Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Jen Psaki is the first White House Press Secretary with red hair and a silent “p.”
Katherine Tai is the first U.S. Trade Representative with a 3-letter last name.
Vivek Murhty is the first Surgeon General to do a pitch perfect impression of Clint Eastwood.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the first Medical Adviser on COVID-19 from Brooklyn to outlast his former boss from Queens.
And there’s lots more to come.