By Claire Zillman
December 22, 2016

There are just a few open spots left in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and one of the big remaining questions is whom he will pick for Agriculture secretary. One contender is Susan Combs, former Texas comptroller and agriculture commissioner.

Combs, a Republican, is a fascinating figure. The 6-foot-2 West Texas native pushed nutrition policies akin to Michelle Obama’s at the Texas Agriculture Department, she’s now working to empower women in the professional world, and at one point she authored an erotic novel.

Combs originally supported former HP CEO Carly Fiorina in the Republican primary and has followed the one-time candidate’s lead by meeting with Trump’s transition team—despite publicly criticizing his treatment of women in the past.

During her short-lived campaign, Fiorina defended herself when Trump criticized her looks—”I am proud of every year and every wrinkle”—and later said Trump should step down as the GOP nominee after the infamous Access Hollywood tape surfaced. Yet Fiorina met with Trump last week and later referred to him as “a champion.”

Likewise, Combs met with VP-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday despite noting in September that Trump has “an unfortunate habit…of not being particularly polite in public about women.”

We don’t know what was said at the Combs-Pence meeting. It would be admirable for Combs to stand by her defense of women and not simply trade it for a plum Cabinet post.



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