George Shultz as secretary of state? Or how about John Connally? Henry Jackson at the Pentagon? Alan Greenspan as treasury secretary? And why not Anne Armstrong for Commerce?
It's old home week for the ghosts of the Republican past, as speculation sprouts everywhere on Topic A: Who will Ronald Reagan bring to his new government? Everyone has a list, from the New Republic on the left to the American Spectator on the right. Insiders and outsiders, all profess to know.
Reagan aides are trying to dampen the gossip, but with little success. "There's been absolutely no determination made on anybody -- not even any hints," said campaign chairman Paul Laxalt, who was flying to Los Angeles last night to consult with Reagan on appointments.
Laxalt said Reagan would like to have his Cabinet in place by Dec. 1. "We have a lot of names," he added. "It's a very, very rough list . . . I have a suspicion there are a number of campaigns going. I've been on the receiving end of a few of them."
Laxalt took himself off the lists, declaring he intended to stay in the Senate, and Deleware Rep. Tom Evans, an early Reagan supporter who has been mentioned for transportation secretary and other posts, also said in an interview yesterday he would rather stay in Congress.
Nonetheless, each is looking forward to the exercise of new power. "It's going to be fun for the next few weeks," Laxalt said. Evans said, "I think I'll be able to get more than the janitor when I call the White House now." i
While the Cabinet is expected to contain a number of familiar names from the Nixon and Ford administrations, it is also likely to contain at least one important Democrat.
Reagan has appointed Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) to his transition team, along with Sen. Richard Stone (D-Fla.), who lost his seat in a primary earlier this fall, and Washington attorney Edward Bennett Williams, also a Democrat.
Insiders also agreed that Henry Kissinger probably will not be secretary of state. The retired wunderkind, who has been hovering around the Reagan campaign ever since it appeared that the Californian might win the nomination, will probably be called upon to serve as a special envoy to China, the Middle East, or some other troubled region.
"There will be some conventional wisdom and some surprises," Bendix Corp. Chairman William Agee, head of Businessmen for Reagan, predicted.
With the caveat that these floated names may prove to be weightless, here's a roundup of current speculation:
Secretary of State: Shultz, president of the Bechtel Corp., former secretary of labor and treasury and former director of the Office of Management and Budget, is most frequently mentioned. Other possibilities include Alexander Haig, president of United Technologies Corp., former NATO commander and White House chief of staff, and former treasury secretary and presidential candidate Connally.
Secretary of Defense: Jackson, who was offered the job under Nixon, is thought likely to accept it this time because of his unexpected demotion from chairman to ranking minority member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Jackson is also mentioned for State. Haig, Connally, Sen. John Tower (R-Tex.), senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are possibilities.
Secretary of the Treasury: Greenspan, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and currently Reagan's top economic adviser, is a strong contender, along with Texan Charles Walker, former deputy treasury secretary. Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) is mentioned. William Simon, treasury secretary under Ford, is thought unlikely to want the job again, preferring perhaps the Pentagon.
Attorney General: Caspar Weinberger, an old friend of Reagan, and former Nixon cabinet member, could take this job, or the budget director's job, or virtually any other he wants. Other contenders include Texan James Baker, George Bush's former campaign manager, who is gaining increasing respect among Reagan insiders. Also possibles: Reagan chief of staff Edward Meese (a contender for the Office of Management and Budget job, too) or Reagan's personal attorney, William French Smith.
Secretary of Labor: Sen. Richard Schweiker (R-Pa.), Reagan's running mate in 1976; Washington labor lawyer Betty Murphy, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board; Robert Georgine, president of the AFL-CIO building and construction trades department, and University of California economist Thomas Sowell, a black, who might also be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Secretary of Commerce: Anne Armstrong, former ambassador to Britain, is most frequently mentioned. Other possibilities include Bill Brock, head of the Republican National Committee, or Pennsylvania businessman Drew Lewis, also at the committee.