Bad news for administration job-seekers who had been counting on an exodus of senior-level Clintonites leaving for greener pastures. Conventional wisdom would say this is the perfect time for the administration job-holders to cash in on their government experience and go private.

But best guesses are that, while there will be movement outward--and there already has been some--there is so far no indication of a flood of departures.

Of the 300-plus Senate-confirmed administration jobs--not counting judges, marshals and prosecutors--the vacancy rate is around 8 percent, which is the normal state of affairs. By "vacancy," the White House means there's a departure and a candidate must be found to fill the job.

Even that number is inflated, because deputies within the agencies often move up to fill the openings on an acting basis.

There are some good openings--for example, Veterans Affairs secretary, deputy head of the Environmental Protection Agency, associate attorney general--but they really aren't "open." VA deputy Hershel Gober will likely move up to be acting secretary, EPA's former chief of staff and acting deputy Peter Robertson wants the deputyship, and Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore is in line to move to town to be No. 3 at the Justice Department.

Otherwise, it looks like most people at the senior levels are staying put, if not for the duration, then for a while longer. "People feel good about what they are doing," one administration official observed. And what they're doing is often better than "their crummy old law firm or university jobs. I don't see people running for the life boats."

Bush Camp Gets Anti-Gore Asset

Kevin Martin may prove to be a key asset when he joins the George W. Bush campaign for president this month as deputy general counsel.

Martin has been a legal adviser to Federal Communications Commission member Harold Furchtgott-Roth, who is much opposed to a full implementation of the Snowe-Rockefeller- Exon-Kerrey provision of the communications act. That's the part that provides discounted communications service and Internet access for schools and libraries. Gov. Bush's likely Democratic opponent, Vice President Gore, is a major booster of hooking up the classrooms.

Better still, before working at the FCC, Martin worked for independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr on the Whitewater probe.

Volunteer for the Peace Corps

The White House has finished going through the candidates to replace Mark Gearan as director of the Peace Corps. And the winner looks to be . . . former volunteer Mark Schneider, who's now assistant administrator for Latin America at the Agency for International Development.

Schneider, a volunteer in El Salvador from 1966 to 1968, has been a Senate aide, a deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights in the Carter administration and was a top official with the Pan American Health Organization for 12 years before joining AID in 1993.

He's also one of the few foreigners ever to receive Chile's Medal of Freedom equivalent, the Bernardo O'Higgins award, for his support of the restoration of democracy during the Pinochet dictatorship.

Diplomatic Shuffle

Veteran diplomat Richard Boucher, former ambassador to Cyprus and before that State Department spokesman, is leaving his consul generalship in Hong Kong to be the senior U.S. official with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Career diplomat Michael Klosson, now principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the legislative affairs shop, is replacing him.

Also on the diplo front, President Clinton has said he would name brokerage industry veteran J. Richard Fredericks, now senior consultant to Banc of America Securities, to be ambassador to Switzerland. Career diplomat Harriet L. Elam, now acting deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency, is Clinton's pick for ambassador to Senegal.

Thanks in Advance for Your Support, Adolf

Presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan apparently is leaving no stone unturned in his effort to stay within striking distance of fund-raiser extraordinaire George W. Bush. Here's a fund-raising letter his campaign recently sent to The Washington Post's address:

Mr. A. Hitler

1150 15th St. NW

Washington, DC 20071-0001