At Slifka, Carrion confirms Obama tap

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. suggested in a talk at Yale on Friday that he is being tapped for a top post in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama, the News has learned.

Speaking at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, Carrion said he had been notified by the Obama administration earlier that day that he had been selected. He prefaced his comments by telling attendees they were “off the record” and did not specify for which position he had been chosen, ten students who were in attendance confirmed.

“He said he was in consideration for a number of cabinet positions and that he ‘got the call’ indicating he was selected,” one student said.

Another student said Carrion told some attendees in a conversation before the lecture that as he was heading to dinner in advance of the Slifka event, he received a congratulatory phone call from Sen. Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 of New York, whom Obama has nominated to be secretary of state.

Carrion, who was elected Bronx borough president in 2001 and re-elected in 2005, had been rumored as a potential candidate to be secretary of housing and urban development. The New York Times reported last month that he was under consideration for a cabinet post and had met with officials from Obama’s transition team about the possibility of serving in his administration.

According to students in attendance, Carrion said that he was under consideration to head the Small Business Administration as well as the departments of housing and urban development; transportation; and education.

Carrion’s remarks came in a question-and-answer session after he delivered a lecture on the topic of Latino-Jewish relations. The event was sponsored by Yale Hillel and La Casa Cultural.

Representatives for Carrion and the Obama transition team did not immediately respond to telephone messages Sunday.

—Rustin Fakheri contributed reporting.


  • 09

    Nice of you guys to keep it "off the record"

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone else concerned that this story surfaced in spite of Carrion's desire to be "off the record"?

  • how

    i assume students there leaked it. at that point the ydn, is under no obligation to keep it off the record — in fact carrion saying that this was off the record is a totally meaningless statement if his audience was not all journalists.

    the only unethical thing would be if one of the attendees was actually a ydn reporter, who did not identify him/herself, and then published or infromed the editors.

    i have no doubt that the latter scenario did not happen … nothing is wrong, except perhaps that no one can keep a secret.

  • '10

    I think this reflects really, really poorly on Yale's students. Carrion was doing us an honor in visiting us, and was trusting us with words that he was not ready to make public. I feel embarrassed that we were not able to keep that trust.

  • well

    I agree that this does reflect poorly on Yale students--the ones who talked to the YDN more than anyone else. The YDN has a habit of releasing information that really shouldn't be released, simply because they're in a position to be hearing student rumors and have access to people who don't really equate talking to other students with talking to the press. It's really pretty embarrassing that the YDN can't temper itself in any effective way.

    On the other hand, if you're in politics long enough, you should learn that if you don't want something to spread, then don't tell anyone.

  • really?

    "people who don't really equate talking to other students with talking to the press"

    Really? That's what you think of your fellow Yalies? No, Elis talk to the press for the same reason the rest of the country talks to the press: it makes them feel important, like they have something to add. It's not the YDN publishes random rumors from inside a capella groups; it publishes leaks that are actually newsworthy, and that someone — for G-d know whatever reason — wants to talk about …

  • person with teh internets

    The YDN was not the only news outlet to report this story. I don't know what time the YDN story came out on Sunday, but the New Haven Independent had reported this story on the web by Sunday at 1pm.

  • Get it off

    The proper thing for the YDN is to remove the story.

  • Embarrassed

    Totally agree with #4. If noteworthy guests learn that they can't trust Yale University to keep "off the record" precisely that, then they won't be as willing to come speak to us.
    The YDN would only have published this story if they have two sources confirming its veracity. That means, someone was explicitly asked by the newspaper if the story was true. So whoever spoke to the press still directly broke a trust.