AUSTIN, Texas — As Gov. George W. Bush mulls over the potential personnel for a presidential administration, he is giving more thought than Republican presidents in the past did to a lineup of high-level officials that is diverse, Bush advisers and Republican officials with ties to the campaign said.

That means more than putting a Democrat or two in his Cabinet, these Republicans said. They said that Bush would also like his Cabinet to have Hispanics, African-Americans and women, a desire heightened by the closeness of the presidential election, the need to unite a divided country and his sustained campaign pledge to put a new face on the Republican Party.

One of those people is all but certain to be retired Gen. Colin Powell, a frequently mentioned candidate for secretary of state, with whom Bush met on his ranch near Waco Thursday. Another is Condoleezza Rice, who is destined to be named national security adviser, a position that Bush advisers said Bush would like to give Cabinet-level status.

Both Powell and Rice are black. Both were given prominent speaking roles at the Republican National Convention. And both made frequent appearances with Bush on the campaign trail.

But Bush advisers said that Bush would look beyond Powell and Rice as he seeks to incorporate minorities and women into a Bush administration.

"The current political realities — that you have a divided Congress and a diverse electorate that was very split — almost necessitate a Cabinet that crosses all bridges," said one Bush adviser.

The adviser added that Bush genuinely believed in the importance of diversity. "It's not a new story for him," the adviser said.

Another Bush adviser, referring to Bush and Cheney, said: "They're on a real talent hunt for minorities and women. They are really beside themselves to find diversity."

The adviser noted that three people to whom Bush has turned in recent weeks — Cheney, James Baker III, his chief representative in Florida, and Andrew H. Card, named as the White House chief of staff in a Bush administration — are all older white men with ties to Bush's father, the former president.

The aggressive planning for a Bush administration was signaled anew Thursday by the meeting inside a house on the ranch involving Bush, Powell and Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney. It lasted about five hours, Bush aides said.

Bush aides later said that the Senate majority leader, Trent Lott, and the House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, would visit Bush at the ranch this weekend.

At one point Thursday, Bush, Cheney and Powell emerged to speak briefly with a small group of reporters who had been invited to the ranch.

With Bush's appearance and comments, he not only staked a claim to victory in the presidential election, stressing that every count of votes in Florida had put him in the lead, but also demonstrated his engagement in transition planning.

He had not spoken publicly since Sunday night, and over the ensuing days, Cheney assumed a much more visible role, to the point where he was asked at a news conference if Bush was too physically removed from the process.

Bush, asked Thursday if he was concerned about that image, simply laughed. "That's pretty humorous," he said.

He made clear that he was keeping tabs on his legal team's efforts in Florida and directing its decisions, a point that the transition spokesman, Ari Fleischer, also made in a subsequent conversation with reporters.