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Houston Mayor Tops Short List For Ambassador To Mexico

By Eileen O'Connor/CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House is considering appointing former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier as ambassador to Mexico.

"He is definitely on the short list," one administration source told CNN.

Also on that list are Jeffrey Davidow, assistant secretary of State for Inter-American affairs, and Brian Atwood, head of USAID.

The popular and independent-minded former mayor of Houston is favored by the President Bill Clinton but some aides are expressing concern that his independence may be a drawback.

Politically, the president has reason to be grateful to Lanier. A former Reagan supporter, he backed Clinton on the Brady Bill, and even on a recent referendum there on affirmative action, moves that many considered politically risky.

As an elderly southerner, Lanier is also considered a fairly safe bet with Sen. Jesse Helms, (R-N.C.) chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who blocked the nomination of former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld earlier this year.

Aides stress no decision has been made and that "the betting keeps going back and forth."

In Other News:

Monday Dec. 29, 1997

Gore Gears Up In 1998
Tyson Foods Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges
Clinton Stands By Aide Ira Magaziner
Houston Mayor Tops Short List For Ambassador To Mexico
White House: No Envoy To Iran

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