Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) made a bizarre announcement at a campaign stop in Iowa last Sunday, telling the crowd that, when she selects her cabinet, she’ll only consider candidates for the Secretary of Education who have taught in public schools, and the final candidate will only take office after passing an interview with a “young trans person.”
One of the attendees at Warren’s weekend stop in Cedar Rapids asked the Massachusetts Senator and hopeful 2020 Democratic presidential nominee whether she would support more education on LGBT and transgender issues for school-aged children. In response, Warren suggested that LGBT and transgender issues would define her education policy.
Warren says that she will have a "young trans person" interview her future Secretary of Education and only hire this future secretary if the young trans person approves.
This in reference to a question about sex education/LGBTQ history in public schools. pic.twitter.com/txyt6OI6FX
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) January 30, 2020
“I have two qualifications that I have talked about over and over for my secretary of education,” Warren says, addressing the voter directly. “The first, it has to be someone who has taught in a public school.”
To ensure that that public schools then become a “welcoming community” for transgender and LGBT youth, she’ll make the second qualification passing an interview with a “young trans person” — and not just any “young trans person,” the very young trans person that suggested Warren set a “welcoming community” as a goal.
“I’m gonna have a secretary of education that this young trans person interviews on my behalf,” Warren adds. “And only if this person believes that our secretary of education nominee is someone who is committed to creating a welcoming environment, a safe environment, and a full educational curriculum for everyone, will that person actually be advanced to be secretary of education.”
That’s a pretty strange system for selecting a cabinet secretary. Although there are plenty of individuals who contribute to selecting members of the president’s chief advisory board, it’s fairly unusual for a civilian with no policy experience to have the final say over whether a candidate is qualified to serve as the head of a department of the federal government.
Weirder still, the “young trans person” who originally made the comment about a “welcoming community” isn’t a high school or college student. Hot Air tracked down the clip and discovered that Jacob Lemay, who asked Warren a question about trans rights at a CNN townhall back in October, is a nine-year-old elementary school student.
“Jacob Lemay — a 9-year-old transgender boy from Massachusetts, whose story went viral after his mother Mimi wrote an open letter in 2015 about his early-age transition — got to ask Warren a question during CNN’s presidential candidate town hall on LGBTQ rights Thursday night,” Boston.com reported in October.
“What will you do in your first week as president to make sure kids like me feel safer in schools?” Lemay asked. “And what do you think schools should do better so that I don’t have to worry about anything but my homework?”
Warren said, then, that she’d appoint someone who “believes in public education” and she’d let Jacob have a final say in the appointment.
Her commitment, of course, may be entirely pointless. Based on the latest poll numbers the Massachusetts Senator, who once led the field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, is likely to place fifth in the Iowa caucuses, possibly ending her run for president.