Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cabinetmaker's Challenge

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cabinetmaker's Challenge

Article excerpt

OK, so I won by eight points, and all those polls showing an 18-point spread right up through the final weekend were wrong. It's a lucky thing the Republicans never knew they were in single-digit range, and the media were misled by those polls into thinking it was no real horse race.

Now let's make a Cabinet. Has to be congenial, to be easy to confirm, good on television, loyal to me when the crunch comes.

Colin Powell would be right down the alley for secretary of state, which I offered him once before, and he's now a Republican to boot. But Al Gore worries that making Powell the foreign policy superstar would build up a rival for the 2000 campaign. Same with Sam Nunn; can't set him up for a primary run. George Mitchell? He was last week's sure thing, and I owe him for falling on his sword in the health-care fiasco. But Mitchell is the one authentic liberal who has a chance of getting Senate confirmation if I nominate him to the Supreme Court. Maybe save that card. Richard Holbrooke, the Bosnia headknocker? Tony Lake would go through the White House basement roof, and even if I moved Tony from national security adviser to CIA, the two bureaucratic enemies would be leaking at each other. My favorite, of course, is Strobe Talbott, and it would be nice to move the deputy to the top job. Probably could have done that if Jesse Helms had not been re-elected, but Strobe knows he would never get past Senate Foreign Relations now. That's why he's writing articles for Time magazine already. I'll enjoy his book a lot more than Dick Morris', which could be trouble. I suppose I could go with Madeleine Albright, though she has that hawkish streak. Really need to pay off the single women. (Married women split evenly, and I got over two out of three of the unmarrieds.) Madeleine would be good if Janet Reno gets my heave-ho hint and heads back to Florida so Hillary can move Jamie Gorelick up to attorney general. We can trust Jamie to stop asking the courts for special prosecutors - why did I ever sign that law in the first place? I'll veto any extension when it lapses, but that may be too late. …

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