Top Officials Leaving

November 8, 1996

Top Officials Leaving

Secretary of State Warren Christopher made it official Thursday: He'll be leaving the Clinton Adminstration shortly. Several other high-ranking Adminstration officials are also on the way out:
  • Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta
  • Secretary of State Warren Christopher
  • Defense Secretary William Perry
  • Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor
  • Labor Secretary Robert Reich
  • Transportation Secretary Federico Pena
  • Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary
United Nations Ambassador Madeleine Albright, former Sens. George Mitchell of Maine and Sam Nunn of Georgia are contenders to replace Christopher at State. CIA Director John Deutch is often talked about as a replacement for Perry.

At a White House ceremony on Thursday, President Clinton indicated he might consider Republicans for some of the vacant top positions. If Republicans are under consideration, then Senator Richard Lugar, former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is considered to be a possibility to replace for Secretary of State.

Several names are floating around as possible replacements for Panetta, including Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes and Mitchell. The candidate that has emerged as the front runner, however, is former deputy chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Clinton may announce Bowles' appointment by the end of the week.

National Security Advisor Anthony Lake may also step down. If Lake leaves, many expect Clinton's close friend Strobe Talbott to take his spot.

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