Will there be a gay cabinet member in the Obama administration soon? The political rumor mill is circulating Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States Fred Hochberg's name as a potential Commerce Secretary. Hochberg would be the first openly gay person to be member of the presidential cabinet.
"What I've been told is Fred very well regarded, he's done a great job at the bank, and he's one of the folks that they are looking at carefully for Commerce," the official said.
But the official said Hochberg hasn't been involved as of Monday in direct talks with the White House about the position, nor could the official offer any timeline for when the administration would make an announcement.
The commerce secretary post has been vacant since June when former Commerce Secretary John Bryson resigned for medical tests after suffering a seizure while driving his car.
Advocates have called on Obama to appoint the first openly gay Cabinet member as he transitions into his second term. In addition to Hochberg, there has been speculation that John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, might be considered for the role of secretary of the interior. But the White House hasn't publicly stated whether Obama would in fact nominate these individuals.
During the Clinton administration, Hochberg served as deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration and later became its acting administrator.