U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop said Wednesday is was an honor to be considered for a post in President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet.
Bishop, a Democrat who represents Georgia’s Second District that include a portion of South Columbus, had reportedly been under consideration for the Secretary of Agriculture job.
That post was filled by the appointment of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who was briefly a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination last year.
“As I said earlier, I felt it was an honor to even be considered,” Bishop said.
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“I have heard from people expressing support and encouragement from all across the Southeast, and that has been satisfying to me.”
Bishop said he had heard from people involved in everything from cotton to rural credit offering support, but it didn’t happen.
“The bottom line is President-elect Obama had a calculus of what he was looking for, and there were a lot of factors that went into it,” Bishop said. “And he ended up with Gov. Vilsack.”
Vilsack, a two-term Iowa governor who left office in 2006, was reported to be under consideration as a vice presidential nominee for Sen. John Kerry four years ago.
“I don’t know him personally, but he is the former governor of Iowa and the Midwestern agriculture philosophy is a lot different than the Southeast,” Bishop said. “Ours is more crops and more issues. Their’s is more focused on fewer crops.”
Obama, who takes office Jan. 20, has filled all but two spots in his cabinet. Transportation and Labor posts remain to be filled.
“I still give the president-elect high marks for the methodology and selection of his cabinet,” Bishop said. “I do think that people from the Southeast do have concerns that no one from our region has been selected yet, but the cabinet is not complete.”
Bishop said he believes he was seriously considered.
“The transition team is set up in layers,” Bishop said. “I had communication up, but not including the president-elect. I had every reason to believe that based on conversations I had with people who were part of the transition team. I had feedback on a daily basis and had no reason to believe I wasn’t in the number being considered.”
Bishop was working in the district Wednesday, helping people in the Shellman, Ga., work through their water issues.
“Quite frankly, the people I was working with today said they were pulling for me to become the Secretary of Agriculture, but they were mighty glad to see I didn’t get it. They said, ‘We like you where you are.’”