Madame Labor Secretary?
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZLSXjGptCUThe Wall Street Journal revealed yesterday that Mary Beth Maxwell, the founding executive director of the labor advocacy group American Rights at Work, is a strong contender to be President-elect Obama's Secretary of Labor.Obama has been doing his best to balance his reported desire to form a "team of rivals" with the pressures of fielding a diverse Cabinet that represents all the demographics that helped him secure the highest office in the land. Maxwell appears to fill both requirements: She's recognized as an innovator in her field and her pro-union stance has won her the support of high-ranking officials in the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union. She also qualifies under what Chris Matthews calls "the many faces of Bennetton" rubric; Maxwell is a lesbian and the adopted mother of a seven-year-old African-American child. More importantly, she also satisfies the suggestion made by Slate's Jacob Weisberg: that Obama just find really smart people for his Cabinet.In order to introduce you to Maxwell, here is a video from a lecture she gave in 2006 at a forum held by the international human rights group Breakthrough. It's about workers' rights to organize and fight for better pay, working conditions, etc.