Adolfo Carrion Gets The Call

by Paul Bass | December 7, 2008 1:08 PM | | Comments (6)

adolfo%20carrion.jpg(Updated 5:48 p.m.) Adolfo Carrion Jr. revealed in New Haven Friday night that he’s being nominated for a top post in the incoming Obama administration.

Carrion imparted the news at a gathering at Yale’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life, according to people present. Carrion, who is Bronx Borough president in New York, was there to deliver a Sabbath evening lecture on Latino-Jewish relations. Two campus groups, Yale Hillel and La Casa, cosponsored the event.

During a question and answer session following the talk, Carrion, telling listeners that he was speaking off the record, said he received a call that day from President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team informing that he will be nominated for a Cabinet post. He mentioned that he had been discussing four departments with the team: Housing and Urban Development (HUD), transportation, small business, and education. But he was already reported to be a finalist for one of those slots, director of HUD — a point position for cities like New Haven wrestling with a foreclosure crisis.

Carrion reported receiving text messages and calls throughout the evening congratulating him, including a call from Obama’s choice for secretary of state, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.

If confirmed, Carrion would be the second Latino chosen for a top post in the Obama administration. Latino activists have raised concern lately the the only prominent Hispanic selected so far — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — was tapped to be commerce secretary, not secretary of state. Carrion’s name appeared on a list of favorites submitted to Obama by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

A message seeking comment, left with Carrion’s office Sunday, was not returned.

But Carrion himself was quoted in a story on the Politico website later Sunday denying he’d spilled the beans at Yale. He claimed that students “misinterpreted” his remarks, that he was merely repeating news previously reported. That seems unlikely: Sunday afternoon Politico and the Yale Daily News published stories quoting audience members reporting the same remarks as those cited in this article.

A Yalie published the following comment to the Politico item:

Don’t believe the denial—-I was at this event on Friday evening (and asked Mr. Carrion a question about the Yankee Stadium negotiations on his way out) and there was just no doubt that he was headed to Washington. In the second-to-last question he took, someone in attendance asked him about the cabinet rumors. He then asked if the event was off-the-record. The laws of the Jewish Sabbath prohibit writing and use of electronics like cell phones and the internet, and everyone shared a laugh when he answered his own question by reminding himself of the prohibitions of spreading news of what he was about to say. After saying that his name had been mentioned in association with the spots at Education, HUD, Transportation and the SBA, he said, “today, I got the call.” He wouldn’t say what job he had been asked to fill, but he said we should just expect to “hear some breaking news soon.” After a bunch of applause, which he welcomed, a leader of one of the sponsoring organizations asked if he would come back to Yale “with Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Antonio Villaraigosa.” Borough President Carrion will certainly soon be Secretary Carrion.

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Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | December 7, 2008 3:41 PM

No lost I know him from ;New York,Part of the crooked bronx machine.

Posted by: AG | December 8, 2008 2:43 AM

Carrion, telling listeners that he was speaking off the record, said he received a call that day from President-Elect Barack Obama's transition team informing that he will be nominated for a Cabinet post.

Do you not understand the meaning of "off the record"?

Posted by: Juan | December 8, 2008 11:46 AM

He is a corporate allied politician type, won't be good for Bronx or New Orleans, or New Haven in HUD, but Bronx might be glad to be rid of him.

Posted by: Boogiedown | December 8, 2008 12:54 PM

We in the Bronx will be well glad to be rid of him...unfortuntately, if he goes to Washington, we won't be!

Posted by: ceej | December 13, 2008 8:24 AM

This young man is in no way the type of person that should be in Obama circle. LOOSE LIPS SINKS THE SHIPS. His first impression is not a good one for me. Hopefully he will not be tapped for any post (high or low) in this Administration. The man appears not to be able to hold his tongue.

Posted by: Cat | December 15, 2008 7:45 AM

On the surface, this seems like a truly disappointing pick--based on his bio of being a career politician. Given that urban policy-whatever that means, especially as it relates to HUD's mission-- will be so important to the POTUS, this pick is puzzling.

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