Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Fills Remaining Cabinet Jobs for 2nd Term

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Fills Remaining Cabinet Jobs for 2nd Term

Article excerpt

*Pena nominated to head Energy Department in 11th-hour decision tokeep a Hispanic on board.

President Bill Clinton named Federico Pena to head the Energy Department on Friday and nominated federal highway administrator Rodney Slater to succeed Pena as transportation secretary.

Filling the ranks in his second-term Cabinet, the president also selected Andrew Cuomo, son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, for housing secretary and White House aide Alexis Herman to be labor secretary. The nominees must be confirmed by the Senate. Slater and Herman are black, giving Clinton three blacks in the 14-member Cabinet. As of late Thursday, the president had settled on a tentative list of nominees that had federal regulator Elizabeth Moler penciled in as energy secretary, replacing Hazel O'Leary. Clinton later reconsidered because no Hispanics were slated for Cabinet posts. Hispanic Rep. Esteban Torres, D-Calif., had been mentioned for labor, but he wasn't getting the job. The president then substituted Pena for Moler. Aides argued that Pena, 49, was a stronger manager with more agency experience but conceded that his qualifications included the fact he was Hispanic. Besides, Pena reportedly wanted to leave the transportation department. The president said he did not buckle to special-interest groups. "The pressure was pressure I put on myself," he said at a news conference announcing the domestic policy appointments. "I believe that one of my jobs at this moment in history is to demonstrate with the team I put together that no group of people should be excluded from service to our country." Slater, 41, has been a rising star since Clinton brought him into his administration when he was governor of Arkansas. Herman, 49, runs the White House's public liaison office, in charge of Democratic constituencies, including minorities. …

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