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Clinton's Folks Pick New Jobs For January

Tasting victory, members of the Administration are plotting their career moves. Here is the latest thinking.

President Clinton is still reminding his staff about Greg Norman, the golfer who blew a six-shot lead to lose the Masters. But with the President's future looking more and more secure, his aides are naturally contemplating their own. A little earlier than usual, Washington is playing the quadrennial board game: Who Gets the Plum Jobs Next January?

Bob Dole, for one, is almost prepared to say. In an attempt to spice up his campaign, he is thinking about announcing which celebrities he would put in his Administration (without matching names to jobs); they include Colin Powell, former Secretary of State Jim Baker, Virtuecrat William Bennett and former commodity-futures regulator Wendy Gramm.

Clinton hasn't begun to make up his mind about who should surround him next term and has made clear, according to spokesman Mike McCurry, that any pre-November jockeying would be "the height of bad form." But Homo politicus being what he is, the Beltway is already buzzing with gossip about likely departures and arrivals. A sampler of the best speculation:


Clinton's Staff

Leaving Leaving Shuffling Staying
Leon Panetta
Chief of Staff
George Stephanopoulos
Senior Adviser
Harold Ickes
Deputy Chief of Staff
Laura D'Andrea Tyson
National Economic Adviser
Chief of Staff or Dept. of Interior
Most, though not all, senior officials say he's brought order to Bill Clinton's decision making, but the struggle has tired him out. This man of Congress and son of a walnut farmer may run for Governor of California. He's been the President's main tactician for five grinding years and wants to shift gears. His house is on the market; he'll move to California and maybe work for an entertainment company. Wants to replace Panetta. He knows every bureaucrat trick but can also play the honest broker when required. If he loses out, this labor lawyer and former cowpoke might go to Interior - his dad's old job - or quit. Maybe she'll take Labor if Reich leaves. But her present job is more central. She wants Rubin's job but would get it only if he leaves early.

The Cabinet

Leaving Leaving Leaving Leaving
Henry Cisneros
HUD Secretary
Hazel O'Leary
Secretary of Energy
Warren Christopher
Secretary of State
William Perry
Secretary of Defense
He wants to stay, still likes urban issues. But a special prosecutor is investigating whether he lied to the FBI about payments to his ex-mistress - why should Clinton bear that burden? Her expensive overseas trips, use of a consulting firm to monitor reporters' attitudes and her inept administration have made O'Leary a liability. Telegenically challenged lawyer already tried to quit in 1994.; he's kept a punishing schedule, however, and wants to get back to California. Well respected, a nice guy, but his family is tired of the grind. Some soldiers hope for a more forceful Secretary. Sure to leave, but may wait a few months.
Leaving Leaving Leaving Leaving
Anthony Lake
National Security Adviser
Richard Riley
Secretary of Education
Robert Reich
Secretary of Labor
Federico Pena
Secretary of Transportation
Clinton has trouble firing anybody, owes him a fair amount for finding a way out of Bosnia, but still isn't close to him. Betting is that finally he'll be shoved out. He'd like to stay, but Clinton might prefer someone better at drawing attention to a core priority. He loves the job but has family in Boston, where he's been spending more time lately. Unfortunate cheerleading for ValuJet before its problems were fully revealed crashes his reputation.

Shuffling Shuffling Shuffling
Strobe Talbott
Deputy Secretary of State
Samuel "Sandy" Berger
Deputy National Security Adviser
Madeleine Albright
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
National Security Adviser
National Security Adviser or U.S. Trade Representative
Secretary of State
Long mentioned as second-term National Security Adviser; three years as Christopher's deputy gives him the necessary breadth. Old friend of Clinton's, good on TV, but still an indifferent manager. Wants Lake's job. An old Clinton pal, he gets along easily with the President and has been on TV more lately. Possible consolation prize for this former trade lawyer: U.S. Trade Representative Dying to become the first female Secretary of State. Longtime Washington hand, criticized for being insufficiently conceptual but tough and personable. Current front runner.
Shuffling Shuffling Shuffling
John Deutch
CIA Director
Mickey Kantor
Secretary of Commerce
Bruce Babbitt
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Defense Attorney General or Chief of Staff Supreme Court
He's wanted the top Pentagon job for years, but embarrassed Clinton last month when he declared Saddam Hussein politically stronger after invading Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The former U.S. Trade Representative was given Commerce after Ron Brown was killed; he wants to be Attorney General or maybe Chief of Staff. Bete noire of ranchers, loggers and miners; shot himself in the foot one more time with talk of taxing camping equipment. But wants to hang around long enough to get on the Supreme Court.

Staying Staying Staying
Janet Reno
Attorney General
Donna Shalala
Secretary of HHS
Robert Rubin
Treasury Secretary
Despite having Parkinson's disease, she would like to stay. Plays well at Rotary Clubs, so unlikely she'll be fired. Folks at Justice would like a more exciting leader at the helm-maybe Mickey Kantor Wooed by the Carnegie Foundation and several Western universities but thinks she's in the best possible job and wants to use it to "fix" the shortcomings in the new welfare law. Clinton loves him; he loves the job and may spend more time this term on the urban-poverty issues that are close to his investment banker's heart.

Incoming Incoming Incoming Incoming
Bill Daley Bill Richardson
NM Congressman
Richard Holbrooke George Mitchell
Secretary of Transportation Secretary of Energy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. or Secretary of State Secretary of State
The younger (and some say smarter) brother of the Chicago mayor, Daley helped Clinton with NAFTA in 1993 and has a reputation for making the trains run on time. He's impressed insiders with his handling of semiformal negotiations with dictators in Burma and North Korea. Former Assistant Secretary of State and Bosnia negotiator. Self-promoting style may make Clinton wary. Consolation prize: ambassador to the U.N. He wouldn't have to leave his new wife in New York City. Former Senate majority leader - as boring as Christopher but has been working the Anglo-Irish peace talks to get foreign policy points; knows Congress and reporters.
Incoming Incoming Incoming
Colin Powell Erskine Bowles Gaston Caperton
WV Governor
Secretary of State Chief of Staff Secretary of Education
Right now a long shot. No one could give Clinton's team higher stature, but Gore might worry about giving him a platform. On the other hand, he might like getting Powell in a bear hug. Former deputy chief of staff, now an investment banker in North Carolina and head of Clinton's debate-prep team. Chip off the Clinton block. Governor from a poor state who's become famous for stressing education., especially putting computers in classrooms. His main competition for the job is Tom Kean, a Republican and former New Jersey Governor.


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