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More Clinton appointees leaving


Mondale to retire as ambassador

November 7, 1996
Web posted at: 12:20 a.m. EST

(CNN) -- Former vice president Walter Mondale said on Friday he will retire as U.S. ambassador to Japan by the end of the year.

"With the American presidential election behind us, I have advised the secretary of state that now seems to be an appropriate time to end my tour of duty in Japan," Mondale said in a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Tokyo.

Mondale was appointed ambassador by President Clinton in 1993. He plans to return to his native Minnesota to practice law.

Word of Mondale's departure came on the same day President Clinton accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Warren Christopher at a White House ceremony.

Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena reportedly is also set to leave, and sources tell CNN Federal Aviation Administration chief David Hinson -- a key Clinton appointee -- plans to resign as well.

Other top level administration officials expected to depart as President Clinton prepares for a second term are:

  • Defense Secretary William Perry. "I plan to meet with the president tomorrow to discuss the transition," Perry told reporters on a speaking trip in Denver. He said he had recently reaffirmed to Clinton his intention to serve for just one presidential term.

  • Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor, who is expected to return to the private sector.

  • Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, who confirmed Wednesday she is planning to step down.

  • White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, who is considering a campaign for California governor in 1998.

President Clinton plans a news conference Friday and aides said he would announce his choice to replace Panetta then.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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