NOVEMBER 29—Smelling victory, George W. Bush’s camp is beginning to leak the names of probable cabinet members. Among the most prominent:
Colin Powell: Probable Bush secretary of state. The Mr. Somebody in everybody’s cabinet, oft mentioned as presidential timber for whichever party. Former chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff during Persian Gulf War, architect of massive-force policy. Sometimes really weird, sounding like a liberal Dem backing affirmative action: “Some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly condemn affirmative action that helped a few thousand black kids get an education, but you hardly hear a whimper when it’s affirmative action for lobbyists who load our federal tax code with preferences for special interests.”
Condoleezza Rice: In line to be Bush’s national security adviser. Presbyterian, advised George Sr. on Russia, self-described absolutist on gun control. Says black people needed guns in Birmingham for protection when she was growing up. On why she’s a Republican: “My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. I joined the party for different reasons. I found a party that believes that peace begins with strength.” As a little girl, thought Jesus would come back to help boost attendance at her dad’s church. First song she learned to play on the piano: “What a friend we have in Jesus!”
Lawrence Lindsey: One choice for secretary of the treasury. Key economic adviser to Dubya during the campaign. Supported McGovern in 72, former Harvard prof, member of Reagan-era Council of Economic Advisers, early supply-sider booster, Bush appointee to Federal Reserve Board, currently at American Enterprise Institute. A jocular Keynesian who promises Bush’s gargantuan tax cut will be seen as a wise “fiscal insurance policy” when we plunge into recession next year.
Marc Racicot: Could be secretary of the interior. Montana governor and GOP’s answer to Lieberman on the Florida barricades. Popular and thought of as a coalition-building moderate. Son of a logging-camp cook, devout Catholic, high school basketball star, made labor happy with attack on right-to-work laws, turned Bush pit bull last summer, blaming Western wildfires on Clinton.
Stephen Goldsmith: Could be secretary of Health and Human Services or Housing and Urban Development. Indianapolis mayor, credited with bringing new life to the city in part by privatizing services. Model “compassionate conservative,” chief domestic policy adviser to Bush. Key proponent of “faith-based” welfare system backed by charity tax credits and Bush’s proposed “compassion capital fund.”
Sam Nunn: Mentioned as possible secretary of defense. Big-time Atlanta lawyer, conservative Democrat, former Georgia Senator who chaired Senate Armed Services Committee, whiz on military policy and wrote (with Barry Goldwater) Department of Defense Reorganization Act.
Jim Hunt: Education secretary? Former two-term North Carolina governor who always seemed a breath of fresh air compared to stale, reactionary Republican candidates coughed up by the Jesse Helms machine. Pushed state preschool program and better pay for teachers.