“I don’t carry around a stamp on my head saying ‘I’m progressive and I’m A.O.C.,’” Mr. Biden said, referring to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. “But I have more of a record of getting things done in the United States Congress than anybody you know.”
The comments reflect what people familiar with Mr. Biden’s thinking say is his growing frustration with the public and private pressure campaigns.
But promises to interest groups during his campaign tend not to be forgotten.
Alphonso David, the president of Human Rights Campaign, a group dedicated to advancing the interests of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, said Mr. Biden assured him months ago that he was committed to diversity in his appointments. For Mr. David, the goal is for an L.G.B.T.Q. person to be named to a cabinet-level position requiring Senate confirmation — something that has never happened.
“That is an important barrier to break. we need to make sure that all communities are represented,” Mr. David said. Like other activists, Mr. David hesitated to pass judgment on Mr. Biden until he finished picking his cabinet.
“It’s too soon to tell yet,” he said. But he added a warning that Mr. Biden has heard all too often in recent days.
“If we don’t have the diversity of representation that Joe Biden has been pledging and that we are looking for,” he said, “there will be huge disappointment.”
Still, defenders of the president elect are equally direct.
“He picked the first woman and first Black vice president. First woman Treasury secretary. First Black defense secretary,” said Philippe Reines, a veteran Democratic operative and former top adviser to Hillary Clinton. “But if they can’t trust Joe Biden to continue to do the right thing and seek to pick the cabinet, they should do what he did: run for and win the presidency.”
Luke Broadwater, Coral Davenport, Lisa Friedman and Katie Glueck contributed reporting.