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Bush Parades Possible Cabinet Choices Before Cameras
November 10, 2000
By TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN (AP) - George W. Bush is signaling his apparent selections for top jobs in a Bush administration by a series of high-profile planning meetings.
Seeking to calm jittery financial markets and reassure allies abroad, Bush on Friday showcased economic and national security policy. "This administration will be ready to assume office and be prepared to lead," Bush said.
Presidents-elect usually select potential members of their administrations behind closed doors. But Bush, unable to claim such a status because of the continuing dispute over votes, has been parading his expected choices before the bright lights of photo opportunities.
Economist Larry Lindsey, a possible Treasury secretary if Bush is elected, was the latest to find himself in the spotlight.
Lindsey, a former Federal Reserve Board member, "is going to talk about the markets," Bush said. Investors unnerved by the presidential election limbo have sent stocks plunging for the past two days.
Bush deflected a reporter's question on whether Lindsey was under consideration as a prospective treasury secretary. "Mr. Lindsey has been a loyal friend and a person whose judgment I trust," Bush said.
But those close to Bush, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Lindsey would be offered a top economic job if the Texas governor is elected. If not as treasury secretary, then as chief White House economist.
Lindsey headed the Bush campaign's economic team. He was a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers during the Reagan administration and special adviser to former President Bush.
Bush invited a group of reporters, photographers and a television camera crew into a large parlor in the governor's mansion where he was holding a transition-planning meeting.
Also there, for the second day, was Stanford University scholar Condoleezza Rice, expected to be offered the job of White House national security adviser if there is a Bush presidency.
In fact, Bush introduced her as "national security adviser" on Friday - as if he were already president and she already in the job.
Bush has also hinted broadly that retired Gen. Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the elder Bush's presidency, would be the new secretary of state. Republican officials say Bush has decided to offer Powell the job.
"There's issues in Israel right now that I'm looking forward to hearing about," Bush said.
Also joining Bush on Friday were running mate Dick Cheney, who will oversee transition planning; Andrew Card, a former transportation secretary in the former Bush administration, expected to be Bush's chief-of-staff; and Clay Johnson, who has been in charge of early transition planning.
Cheney is likely to spend most of his transition-related time in Washington, if Bush is elected, campaign aides said.
Bush has been criticized by Democrats for plowing ahead with plans to form a government. But he defended his approach.
"We believe that the responsible course of action is to be well-prepared. It's in our nation's best interest ... and we will be prepared," Bush said.
Bush has also discussed with Texas Lt. Gov. Rick Perry the terms of a second transition, one which will bring Perry into the governor's post if Bush is elected, campaign aides said. Bush, re-elected to a second term in 1998, has two years remaining in his current term.
Among options being considered by Bush is an announcement that he will leave the governor's post sooner rather than later.
Bush was asked if he might resign the governorship win or lose, but he did not answer it directly. "I am mindful that there's still votes to be counted. And we're each - I believe, as does Secretary Cheney, that the responsible course of action is to prepare, and that's what we're doing here in Austin, Texas. We're taking our time, in a very low-key manner, preparing for a possible administration."
As Bush met, outside two noisy groups of protesters shouted at each other. An anti-Bush group of several hundred that had been chanting "Every vote counts!" and holding signs proclaiming "No Fuzzy Election" and "Free the Palm Beach 19,000" were joined by those with Bush-Cheney signs who chanted, "The People have Spoken!"
Their chants and shouts could be heard inside the governor's mansion.
Bush was leaving Austin Friday to spend the weekend on his ranch in Crawford, about 80 miles north of the capital city.
-- And picks out drapes (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 2000
Free the Palm Beach 19,000!
-- rotflmBUTT-O! (email@example.com!), November 12, 2000.