November 7, 2004


Early lines on Bush's next cabinet: At Camp David, the president weighed what could be a slow but sweeping shuffle. (Linda Feldmann, 11/08/04, The Christian Science Monitor)

President Bush has enjoyed extraordinary continuity and loyalty from his cabinet. Now, a second term won, the personnel shuffle will soon begin - though not all at once. Over the next few months, and probably well into next year, expect a steady stream of top-level Bush appointees either to leave altogether or to move to other high-level jobs.

As Bush considered his options at Camp David this weekend, the great Washington rumor mill worked overtime, with friends of cabinet secretaries speculating about who would leave and who might replace them.

Among those considered likely to leave include Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, and Treasury Secretary John Snow. But even they may not go immediately, in part because they are reportedly energized by Bush's victory and also because of the issues at stake.

"Word went out after 9/11 that people should basically stay put, and most cabinet officers were of a mind to do that," says Paul Light, a professor of public policy at New York University. "Now I think you'll really see the revolving door start to spin, and it will accelerate through June."

The two most important changes, and they're not cabinet-level--are Andy Card's replacement and finding a better spokesman than Scott McLellan. How about Herman Cain for Chief of Staff?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2004 7:05 PM

Why should Herman Cain, who has a 7 figure income at least from coupon-clipping at this stage, want that aggravation?

Posted by: Bart at November 7, 2004 7:52 PM

He'd probably enjoy it more than he would have the Senate.

Posted by: Timothy at November 7, 2004 7:53 PM

Whoever does get the COS job will have to check their own ego and any self-promotional instincts at the door to be successful, or else you could see Donald Regan II coming down the pike 18 months from now.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 8:54 PM


Because he loves his country more than a buck.

Posted by: oj at November 7, 2004 10:11 PM

Chief of Staff is a flak-catcher job. It's not the place for an older man with strong ideas who wants to advance them. He has to play off of other people's scripts not his own.

Cain has too many skills for that. He could be put in charge of a microlending program to encourage entrepreneurship in America's inner cities, where legal job opportunities are scarce. He could be made Secretary of Education, with an eye towards changing the nature of American education to a preparation for independent wealth creation rather than being a cog in the great Industrial Machine. If he has a law degree, I'd put him on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Bart at November 8, 2004 6:41 AM


He governs the country. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Baker were just warming up for their greatest achievements.

Posted by: oj at November 8, 2004 7:33 AM


He gets stuck with the day to day chores, he's not the one charged with coming up with the big picture.

Posted by: Bart at November 8, 2004 12:18 PM


He's the second most powerful man on earth. needless to sayu that's never been a black man before.

Posted by: oj at November 8, 2004 3:31 PM