Another Asian American bites the dust in the Obama Cabinet: Steven Chu out as Secretary of Energy

Secretary of State Steven Chu’s departure doesn’t come as a surprise. Chu had some tough political moments where his science and academic smarts may not have served him nor the president well. In politics, just because you’re right, doesn’t mean it’s right. Chu made comments about gas prices he had to recant. And there was the Solyndra episode that blew up in his face. Politics is not easy. Even if you’re a Nobel Laureate.

Today’s announcement means there’s one less Asian American in the cabinet, two if you count Chris Lu, the cabinet secretary.Obama has said to wait until all is said and done before commenting about the diversity of his second term staff. 

But Chu is one of the best and the brightest Asian Americans on the planet. When a guy like Chu can’t cut it, that’s certainly sends a message to others who aspire to serve in politics.

Here’s a presidential statement below, a White House release that massages the exit of Steven Chu. It’s followed by a link to Chu’s farewell letter to those at the DOE:



February 1, 2013


Statement from the President on Secretary Steven Chu


I want to thank Secretary Chu for his dedicated service on behalf of the American people.   As a Nobel Prize winning scientist, Steve brought to the Energy Department a unique understanding of both the urgent challenge presented by climate change and the tremendous opportunity that clean energy represents for our economy.  And during his time as Secretary, Steve helped my Administration move America towards real energy independence. Over the past four years, we have doubled the use of renewable energy, dramatically reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and put our country on a path to win the global race for clean energy jobs.   Thanks to Steve, we also expanded support for our brightest engineers and entrepreneurs as they pursue groundbreaking innovations that could transform our energy future.  I am grateful that Steve agreed to join in my Cabinet and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

But in Steven Chu’s letter to the Energy Department, there’s alot that was done to mark the last four years. Read his letter here.