Cabinet Members Rumored While Presidential Race Remains in Limbo
While the presidential race remains in limbo, Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) and Vice President Al Gore (D) are "mulling over members of [their] prospective administration[s]," USA Today reports. "Early signs" show Bush drawing "heavily on talent from his father's administration, and Gore from the Clinton administration." Andrew Card, secretary of Transportation under former President George H.W. Bush, is George W. Bush's choice for White House chief of staff (McQuillen/Keen, USA Today, 11/29). The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) "has been rumored to be in line for" HHS secretary under a Bush administration (Skiba, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 11/16).
Gore, for his part, "had lunch Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, signaling plans to keep him in that post." Labor Secretary Alexis Herman "is being considered for a key White House post, possibly chief of staff." EPA chief and "longtime Gore loyalist" Carol Browner also "would be in line for a top job" (USA Today, 11/29).
AIDS Policy & Law reports that an administration run by Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) could mean the end of the Office of National AIDS Policy and the President's Advisory Council on AIDS. According to the newsletter, "Few expect Bush to renew" the advisory council, which issued its final report last month. The Office of National AIDS Policy might not survive even if Vice President Al Gore takes office; one activist questioned whether it is still "needed any longer." Sandra Thurman, national AIDS policy director and special diplomatic envoy for AIDS assistance abroad, would likely not be retained in a Bush administration because she "is seen as too closely associated with President Clinton," the newsletter writes.
Two departures that are "certain" under a Bush presidency are Surgeon General David Satcher and Timothy Westmoreland, director of Medicaid for the Health Care Financing Administration. Westmoreland has "worked on AIDS issues since the early days of the epidemic" and "sought to extend [Medicaid] to include people with HIV." Claude Earl Fox, head of the Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the Ryan White CARE Act, is "likely to depart, though not immediately." One possible nominee for either HHS secretary or surgeon general in a Bush administration, according to the newsletter, is Antonia Novello, who served as surgeon general for former President George Bush and is currently the state health commissioner in New York. One analyst told the newsletter, "She would be great for HIV/AIDS issues," though another said Novello's support for needle-exchange programs and her "outspokenness about how homophobia contributes to the spread of the epidemic" could make her an unlikely choice.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.