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LIST OF CLINTON’S GOP PROSPECTS FOR BARE CABINET IS SHORT INDEED

SHARE LIST OF CLINTON’S GOP PROSPECTS FOR BARE CABINET IS SHORT INDEED

President Clinton promised to "cast a wide net" to install Republicans in his second-term Cabinet. So far, the net has landed few names.

The White House transition team, three weeks into the search process, has few GOP candidates for the lengthy list of vacancies. Republican prospects include:- Retiring Sen. William Cohen of Maine, a leading candidate for defense secretary. Clinton encountered Cohen, incidentally, in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday at a treaty signing ceremony. Cohen said he was there to meet with Thai-American businessmen as part of an Asian tour with other U.S. senators.

- John Young, former head of Hewlett-Packard Co., mentioned for the Commerce seat being vacated by Mickey Kantor.

- Edward McCracken, chief executive of Silicon Graphics Inc., also a Commerce prospect.

- Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, now president of Drew University. His name surfaces for several vacancies.

- Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, whose name pops up in Cabinet conversations but is not yet considered a strong candidate.

Indeed, the most notable characteristic about Clinton's list is the one name that's not on it: Colin Powell. The retired general is seen as a threat to Vice President Al Gore's prospects in 2000 and is not being considered.

Some senior Clinton advisers are beginning to fret about the dearth of GOP hopefuls and wonder out loud about whether Clinton raised expectations too high.

"We need more names," said an administration official involved in the transition process. "That's a short list. We need more names."

Clinton promised in 1992 to put a Republican in his Cabinet but never did so. This year, he stopped just short of making the same promise but said voters demanded bipartisanship when they chose a Democratic president and a Republican Congress.