President-elect George Bush said Tuesday that Michael Boskin "might well prove" to be the next chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers but that no decisions have been made for that position or for secretary of defense.
Bush told reporters traveling with him to Alabama that reports saying former Sen. John G. Tower of Texas is in line to become the next defense secretary were premature."The Tower story is not right," Bush said. "No decision has been made." He indicated he would not name his new Pentagon chief until next week at the earliest.
As for Boskin, a Stanford University professor, Bush said: "I haven't sat down and talked to Mike and I want to do that." But he said Boskin is a "very good man. He might well prove to be the economic adviser."
On Monday Bush announced that Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and Education Secretary Lauro Cavazos would remain in their posts. He also selected Richard Darman, a former Treasury official, to head the Office of Management and Budget.
In the two weeks since he was elected, Bush has filled four Cabinet jobs. In addition to Cavazos and Thornburgh, Bush said Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady would stay on, and former Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III would become secretary of state. New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu was selected the White House chief of staff.
That still leaves a slew of other top jobs vacant. Here, in no particular order, are the Cabinets positions as well as the top agency and executive posts that are still open.
- Agriculture. Still in the running is Robert Delano, former president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Also mentioned are Clayton Yeutter, the U.S. trade representative; Sen. Dan Evans, R-Wash.; and Rep. Thomas Coleman of Missouri.
- Energy. Former Rep. Thomas Loeffler, who ran Bush's campaign in Texas, has the inside track, according to the latest purveyors of gossip. Also talked about are formmer White House aide Fred Khedouri and former deputy secretary William Martin.
- Interior. Gov. Garrey Carruthers of New Mexico has taken himself out of the running. That leaves Nathaniel Reed, a former assistant secretary, and Evans high on the list.
- Environmental Protection Agency. A new name surfaced Monday: Jay D. Hair, executive vice president of the National Wildlife Federation. Still in the running are Michael Deland, an EPA regional administrator in Boston, and former agency general counsel Francis Blake.
- CIA. There is some thinking that Bush may keep CIA Director William Webster on as an interim appointment, but others are still thought to be in the running. They include James Lilley, the ambassador to Korea, and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft.
- NSC adviser. Lilley and Scowcroft are also in the competition for this key spot, along with Winston Lord, the ambassador to China, and Richard Burt, the ambassador to West Germany.
- Defense. Tower, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the most often-mentioned person for the job, but other names have surfaced, including Paul O'Neill, the chairman of Alcoa.