THERE IS an awful lot we still don't know about Ronald Reagan's prospective Cabinet, such as, for example: where's the rest of it? And even after the president-elect has disclosed his choices for all these jobs, we still won't know either how much of his Cabinet-government innovation he plans to put into effect or how the personal/power chemistry among the top people will work out. This last point is especially important. People are more (and sometimes a lot less) than the sum of the parts of their resumes.
Still, even without the naming as yet of either the whole national security or economic first team, a few facts about the Reagan designations stand out. Of the batch named yesterday, Rep. Dave Stockman, proposed for director of the Office of Management and Budget, is distinctive on several scores, not just his relative youth. This is an audacious designation by Mr. Reagan (who got to know Rep. Stockman, incidentally, when the congressman was impersonating John Anderson and then Jimmy Carter in pre-debate rehearsals with the governor.)
Mr. Stockman is a man of great political energy who is strongly identified with a collection of views on how both a federal administration and a national economy should be managed (separately wherever possible, in a nutshell). But alone of yesterday's group he has this kind of powerful assocation with what you could call one school of views on a complex of disputed issues to be addressed by the Reagan government. The others named here, notably, not been at the raging heart of the arguments over the subjects and jurisdictions they are to inherit.
Caspar W. Weinberger, for instance, a skilled and respected administrator, whose previous Cabinet work (OMB, the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare) was very well reviewed in Washington, has certainly not been involved in any serious way in the big contention over defense policy. And Donald T. Reagan, who has presided over a successful New York brokerage house, is known for having lived with public policy, in his business, very successfully and even presciently -- but not for having made such policy. He too does not represent one side or another in the high-tension controversies that have emerged within the prospective Republican government. He is not, to put it as crudely as we can, Bill Simon.
William Casey, named for the CIA directorship, has been around this town plenty before and certainly some of his views on how the agency should be revived are going to be the subject of dispute -- they already are. But no more than the others who were designated does he represent the triumph of the "ideological wing" of anything. These are by and large men known for their competence at what they do. Mercifully, Mr. Reagan spared us that traditional presidential palaver about the "extra dimension" of each man or his most-distinguished-in-the-worldness and the rest. Very workmanlike, very businesslike, very lowkey, at least as measured against orthodox practice.
We will get around to the more substantive, policy implications of the Cabinet nominees when their names have all been announced. Our first impression is necessarily tentative, provisional. But it is this -- that Gov. Reagan may be serious about the Cabinet-government format, but he is clearly not planning to base it on the appointment of superstar or prima donna Cabinet figures. What looks to be emerging is something more collegial, board chairman plus board.