As anyone watching the U.S. political horizon would know, President-elect Barack Obama on Monday announced the key members of his national security team.

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Olivia Campbell

The various roles are Hillary Clinton for secretary of state, Robert Gates for secretary of defense, Eric Holder for attorney general, Janet Napolitano for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Susan Rice for ambassador to the United Nations and Gen. Jim Jones for national security adviser.

After a brief word from each of the appointees about how happy they are to be serving the American people, how committed they are to solving our current (enter any politically related word here) crisis, etc., Obama took questions from the media. There was one question asked by a reporter that disgusted and outraged me. It was something along the lines of, “Does Secretary Gates meet the requirement for a Republican in the Cabinet, or should we be looking for others as well?”

That question irritated me more than any I have heard in quite some time. It is outrageous that with a war on terrorism, a war on drugs, a rapidly dropping economy and stock market, an increase in illegal immigrants coming across the border and a reputation in the global community that is practically laughable, anyone still cares which side the help is coming from. The most important thing is that we have educated people who know what they are doing and can help us get out this dark hole.

Over and over we have heard politicians and people of influence from all walks of life say we need to band together as a nation and as a world to solve our problems. It sounds corny, but it’s true. It is thus unhelpful and unnecessary for any reporter to make a comment that suggests otherwise.

As I have been told, I can’t blame only the media for people’s tendency for sticking together. However, if we are going to get anywhere anytime soon — a goal I assume the majority of people would like accomplished — it would help if reporters would stop implying that it matters whether a leader is a Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, or that there is a requirement for a president-elect to choose Cabinet members from either party.

Some may say I’m overreacting, that the question was meant to be witty and get information. Maybe they’re right, but one step forward, two steps back isn’t going to get us anywhere we want to be.

Dos Pueblos High freshman Olivia Campbell is a member of Kids Speaking Up, a local group working to educate youth on social, national and political issues and inspire them to write.