Biden facing growing pressure over secretary of defense pick

Biden
President-elect Joe Biden speaks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris listens at left, during an event to introduce their nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Photo by Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is facing escalating pressure from competing factions within his own party as he finalizes his choice for secretary of defense. Black leaders have encouraged the incoming president to select an African American to diversify what has so far been an all-white prospective Cabinet, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to lead the Department of Defense for the first time. Meanwhile, a growing collection of progressives opposes the leading female contender, Michèle Flournoy, citing concerns about her record and private-sector associations. The competing pressures come weeks into Biden’s push to build an administration while trying to preserve the broad coalition that fueled his victory.