Reagan's 'supercabinet': measuring its muscle
The cabinet announcements don't tell the pecking order. But, the Monitor has learned, Ronald Reagan now has nearly assembled his "supercabinet," those who will meet with him on a daily basis and provide counsel, not just on their specialties, but all across the board.
The core of this personal advisory group consists of three longtime Reagan associates, Caspar Weinberger (Defense), William French Smith (Attorney General) , and William Casey (CIA director). Donald T. Regan (Treasury), and whoever is at state (Alexander Haig still favored).
Other cabinet appointments are Malcolm Baldrige (Commerce), Richard Schweiker (Health and Human Services), Drew L. Lewis (Transportation), and Rep. David Stockman (Office of Management and Budget). They, along with other coming cabinet appointees, including Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and Labor, mainly will be consultants in their field of specialization.
The criteria for these top-level Reagan appointments, according to a Reagan aide, are proven competence of the highest order, convincing evidence of support of Reagan and the Republican Party, and a record that shows the ability to get along with others.
The President-elect wants strong, even bold leaders at his right hand. But he is making a special effort to have advisers who are able to live with final decisions that may run counter to their counsel.
"The President likes strongly expressed views," this aide said. "And he also wants team players -- those who get along well with others and who won't take their football and go home if they don't get their way."
Another Reagan aide, assessing the appointments, said: "I see no Reagan formula there. No effort to do something political, no effort to try to satisfy certain groups --