Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Incoming Chief of Staff Names Advisers Clinton Plans to Announce Four Cabinet Posts Friday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Incoming Chief of Staff Names Advisers Clinton Plans to Announce Four Cabinet Posts Friday

Article excerpt

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton revamped the upper reaches of his White House staff Wednesday, replacing a cadre of campaign heroes with newly promoted advisers loyal to incoming chief of staff Erskine Bowles.

As the president turned his focus to four remaining Cabinet vacancies, Bowles promised that the staff would hum with the efficiency of a business. "I have set about to build a team . . . of sharp minds but not sharp elbows."

But the road to Wednesday's appointments demonstrated that Bowles can throw an elbow or two himself. He nudged out Harold Ickes and Evelyn Lieberman, the current deputy chiefs of staff. They will be replaced by veteran political troubleshooter John Podesta and Sylvia Mathews, 31, a Treasury official. Bowles, an investment banker from North Carolina, made a total of seven appointments - mostly male, relatively young and all white. Their average age is barely 40. The group is a reflection of the politically moderate Bowles, and some Democrats privately worry that Clinton's channels to liberals are closing. George Stephanopoulos, a voice for the party's left wing, is moving on, making use of his five years of service to Clinton. He will teach at Columbia University; he has signed lucrative book and television contracts. His tiny but coveted warren near the Oval Office was handed to Rahm Emanuel, a special projects coordinator in the first term who helped Clinton dodge political land mines on welfare, immigration and crime. Emanuel, 37, will be the president's new free-ranging adviser. No one person will replace Stephanopoulos, who enjoyed a uniquely close relationship with Clinton and mastered the intersection of politics and policy. Doug Sosnik, 40, the White House political director who reported to Ickes, will help Emanuel fill the Stephanopoulos vacuum. Named counselor to the president, Sosnik inherits an open-ended portfolio on politics and media affairs. Sosnik grew close to Clinton during campaign-trail card games. Sosnik was known as the one aide with enough talent and courage to defeat the president at hearts. Stephanopoulos and Ickes had helped soothe and energize party liberals. …

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