Yesterday's list of choices for the Reagan Cabinet focused on by-now-familiar names, including Alexander Haig for secretary of state, Caspar W. Weinberger for secretary of defense and William French Smith for attorney general.
The New York Daily News was farthest out on the limb, saying that President-elect Ronald Reagan had selected six persons -- Haig, a former supreme commander of NATO; Weinberger, a longtime Reagan insider; Smith, Reagan's personal lawyer; Walter Wriston, chairman of Citicorp., as treasury secretary, William Casey, the president-elect's campaign director, as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Thomas Sowell, a conservative University of California economist and a black, as secretary of housing and urban development.
A top Reagan aide characterized the Daily News list as "50 percent wrong," but wouldn't say which half was right. The Washington Post contacted several of those on the list, who said that if they had been selected, it was news to them.
The Associated Press reported that Reagan had made offers to eight persons, but mentioned only four names as "likely" or "top picks" -- Haig, Weinberger, Wriston and Casey -- for the same posts the Daily News had listed.
In addition to those four it seemed sure of, the AP listed as "leading contenders" Sowell for HUD, former Wyoming Sen. Clifford P. Hansen for interior secretary, and Drew Lewis, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, for secretary of transportation. The wire service also added a new name: Ray Donovan, a construction company executive who headed the Reagan campaign in New Jersey, for labor secretary.
Hansen told The Post that he had talked to Reagan advisers about the interior secretary's job, but that he had not heard from Reagan or either of his top two advisers -- Edwin Meese III or James Baker. He said he considered a call from the president-elect or someone unquestionably empowered to speak for him a requisite before he would accept the job.
The Reagan camp has said it would like to send the Cabinet nominees to the Senate for confirmation before Inauguration Day, and the unveiling could be done next week when the Reagans come to Washington after a trip to New York.
Their schedule then includes a dinner to be given by Katharine Graham, board chairman of The Post Co., and another hosted by the Reagans for Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, Reagan's 1976 choice as running mate, who is being mentioned prominently as the top choice for health and human services secretary.