Will Obama appoint the first openly gay Cabinet member?

As we wait for the end-of-the-first-term Cabinet shuffle to commence, here’s one question that’s being asked: Will President Obama appoint the first openly LGBT Cabinet member?

One person asking is Richard Socarides, a former Clinton Administration gay rights advisor. In the New Yorker Socarides listed his version of “Obama’s Gay-Rights To-Do List: Eight Big Ideas.”

Among his wish list: That Obama would be more of a leader on LGBT issues and less of well, someone who ” at times looks like he’s being dragged along.” Yes, yes, we all remember Obama’s painfully slow political stumble as his view on same sex marriage “evolved” into one of support.

Said Socarides: “If he truly wants to be remembered as the gay-rights President, he will have to do more than be a sometimes reluctant champion.” And that includes nominating an LGBT person to his Cabinet.

Right now, a White House spokesperson tells us, high ranking openly LGBT White House officials include include Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, Export Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley. For a complete list of Obama’s LGBT appointments, go here.

Socarides already has jobs lined up for Berry (Secretary of Interior) and Hochberg (Secretary of Commerce) — just as soon as their current occupants, uh, leave. “Both would be safe picks,” Socarides said. “They are old Washington hands who have both been previously confirmed by the Senate. A bolder choice would be appointing the outgoing Congressman Barney Frank as Treasury Secretary.”

Now THAT’s a confirmation hearing that should be on during prime time.

Joe Garofoli