President-elect George Bush, determined not to make any news while he is on vacation, spent Saturday in the surf and sun and used his private time to make phone calls and write thank-you notes.
Bush conferred briefly by telephone with his chief of staff, Craig Fuller, who is leading the transition team that will put together the Bush administration, said spokesman Steve Hart.Fuller and Bush campaign adviser Robert Teeter are working on potential Cabinet nominations and other appointments.
The only information being disseminated officially by the Bush staff on Saturday dealt with the president-elect's recreation schedule and his letters and calls of thanks to people who had helped in the campaign or congratulated him on winning the election.
Hart was asked during a briefing Saturday what Bush had to say about the dramatic drop in the stock market since the election and the dollar's plunge to a 40-year low against the Japanese yen. Analysts said the decline reflected worries about Bush's ability to deal with the federal budget deficit.
"We won't have anything to say about that," Hart replied. Pressed further, Hart said: "He's on vacation and I'm sure he's aware of it and has his own thoughts on it, but it's not something we'll share with you."
Instead, Hart told about how Bush had surf-fished that day for whiting, pompano and barracuda. He didn't catch anything, Hart noted.
Hart said the president-elect was settling into a pattern for the four-day vacation of recreation time in the afternoon and telephone calls and writing in the morning.
He said Bush telephoned several people Saturday morning to thank them for their help in his campaign or for their congratulatory calls and telegrams. Among them were comedian Bob Hope, California Gov. George Deukmejian, New Mexico Gov. Garrey Carruthers, former Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Indiana Gov. Robert Orr, Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Bush neither asked Hatch to fill a job in the new administration nor to comment on anyone else who might fill a key appointment, Hatch said Saturday night.
Hatch told the Deseret News, however, that he anticipates Bush will announce the appointment within the next two weeks of a new secretary of Health and Human Services, to replace Otis R. Bowen, who has asked to be released.