Cabinet changes in the cards
As anticipated, there have been numerous changes in the makeup of President Bush’s cabinet. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge turned in his resignation, effective February 1 or until the Senate names a successor. Ridge had the unenviable task of coordinating and integrating the activities of 22 government agencies with 180,000 employees into one department. A former governor of Pennsylvania and a member of the House of Representatives for 14 years, Ridge spent the last three years doing security chores, first in the White House and then as head of the new DHS.
President Bush wasted little time and named Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, to replace Ridge. One week later, Kerik, 49, withdrew his name from consideration for Homeland Security secretary, however, because he learned that a person he had employed as a nanny had questionable immigration status. President Bush had not named another candidate at press time.
Meanwhile, Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who has been the only Democrat in the Bush cabinet, may also be on the road to departure. The Washington rumor mill has it that Mineta would like to stay until the highway appropriations bill has been signed into law, a schedule that would keep him in his current post into Februa