Bush, Gore both floating names for Cabinet jobs

By RON FOURNIER

Associated Press

While the nation’s highest court considered who will serve in the nation’s highest office, advisers for George W. Bush and Al Gore today floated the names of candidates for two separate Cabinets – only one of which will ever see the light of day.

From the splender of their raised wooden dais, nine U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a narrow question of Florida election law while, hundreds of miles away, the state’s Supreme Court dealt Gore a blow in Tallahassee: His petition for immediate recounts was denied.

“Why should the federal judiciary be interfering in what seems to be a very carefully though-out scheme” for electing people in Florida, asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter – his just one in a series of questions about the high court’s jurisdiction.

The scene outside the courtroom in Washington was less solemn. Hundreds of people from both camps demonstrated alongside those hoping for a taste of history or a dose of attention. Anti-abortion groups, feminists, the Falun Gong religious group – all sharing the street scene with a man dressed as Uncle Sam. Darth Vader was there, too, rubbing elbows with a Roman soldier.

Then there was the man who drove past the menagerie, yelling out his car window: “No president! We don’t need no president!”

And yet, the courts labored long to find one – the closest White House race of the century was the subject of 42 separate lawsuits in Florida alone.

A circuit judge in that state is holding a hearing Saturday on the Gore petition to overturn Florida’s results. Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Bush partisan, has certified the Texas governor winner by 537 votes out of 6 million cast.

Florida’s 25 electoral votes would give Bush one more than the 270 needed to claim the White House. If Gore wins in the courts, GOP state lawmakers were preparing to call a special session to appoint a slate of Bush electors.

Gore wants Harris ordered to accept the results of manually recounted ballots in three Democratic-leaning counties, where he hopes to pick up votes. He asked the Florida Supreme Court to have the ballots counted while Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls proceeds with the case. But the seven state justices – all with Democratic ties – refused late today.

Gore’s team was preparing allies for a potential defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, circulating word that the real battle is in Sauls’ court. The winner of his election protest will certainly appeal, Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill were told, and the nation’s highest court could get another crack at the case.

“The worse that happens is they add a few hundred votes to Bush’s total. Still, the most important thing is whether or not they count the ballots,” Gore campaign chairman William Daley said in a phone interview.

Daley is in line for a top White House job, most likely chief of staff if he wants it, according to several Gore advisers.

Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo also is a candidate for chief of staff, according to two senior Gore advisers who have discussed the potential transition with the vice president. The two sources also say:

  • Labor Secretary Alexis Herman is a candidate for several Cabinet posts, though some friends are urging her to go into the lucrative private sector.

  • Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. representative to the United Nations, are the leading candidates for secretary of state.

  • Former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga. and Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., are under consideration for defense secretary, as is the current Pentagon chief, William Cohen, a Republican. Retired Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman John Shalikashvili has been mentioned as a possibility, though one of the officials said Gore is unlikely to put a former military leader in the Pentagon’s top civilian post.

  • Treasury Secretary Larry Summers might keep his post if Gore wins, but the vice president also is looking at former budget chief Franklin Raines. He has asked transition chief Roy Neel to include GOP businessman in his search for candidates.

  • Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer has emerged as a candidate for attorney general.

    For both Gore and Bush, the talk of transition is a political tool designed to give voters the impression they are ready to serve. Bush hopes to cement the perception that he is the most likely candidate to prevail in Florida, the vice president is trying to fight back with his own leaks and transition team photo-ops.

    A poll conducted for the Pew Research Center showed that the percentage of Americans who think Bush will be the next president rose from 58 percent last week to 66 percent in polling conducted since Sunday. The percentage of Americans who believe that Bush won and Gore should concede increased from 36 percent to 45 percent in the same time frame.

    While Gore is hoping for a quick legal victory to reverse those trends, Bush is making more progress on his transition.

    He has already settled on two Cabinet posts – retired Gen. Colin Powell as secretary of state and Condoleeza Rice as national security advisers. Andrew Card would be his chief of staff.

    Senior Republicans are circulating scores of other candidates, both to tip Bush’s hand and to pad his list with women, minorities and Democrats for political purposes. Just today the top Republicans said:

  • Montana Gov. Marc Racicot is the top contender for attorney general, though other contenders include two female lawyers who have worked for Bush: Harriett Miers and Terry Lacie.

  • Kay James, who worked in the administration of Bush’s father, is a prospect for the Health and Human Services posting. Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is also under consideration.

  • Rep. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who lost a bid for Missouri governor, has been mentioned as a potential transportation secretary. Some Bush advisers say Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania is a top candidate for defense secretary, but some down play his chances.

    Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Talk to us

    > Give us your news tips.

    > Send us a letter to the editor.

    > More Herald contact information.

  • More in Local News

    Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

    Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

    A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

    Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

    The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
    Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

    The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

    FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
    Boeing’s $3.9B cash burn adds urgency to revival plan

    Boeing’s first three months of the year have been overshadowed by the fallout from a near-catastrophic incident in January.

    Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
    Wrong-way driver accused of aggravated murder of Lynnwood woman, 83

    The Kenmore man, 37, fled police, crashed into a GMC Yukon and killed Trudy Slanger on Highway 525, according to court papers.

    A voter turns in a ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, outside the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    On fourth try, Arlington Heights voters overwhelmingly pass fire levy

    Meanwhile, in another ballot that gave North County voters deja vu, Lakewood voters appeared to pass two levies for school funding.

    Judge Whitney Rivera, who begins her appointment to Snohomish County Superior Court in May, stands in the Edmonds Municipal Court on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Judge thought her clerk ‘needed more challenge’; now, she’s her successor

    Whitney Rivera will be the first judge of Pacific Islander descent to serve on the Snohomish County Superior Court bench.

    In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

    Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

    Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
    Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

    “There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

    Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
    Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

    Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

    Bothell
    Man gets 75 years for terrorizing exes in Bothell, Mukilteo

    In 2021, Joseph Sims broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Bothell and assaulted her. He went on a crime spree from there.

    Allan and Frances Peterson, a woodworker and artist respectively, stand in the door of the old horse stable they turned into Milkwood on Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Old horse stall in Index is mini art gallery in the boonies

    Frances and Allan Peterson showcase their art. And where else you can buy a souvenir Index pillow or dish towel?

    Support local journalism

    If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.