Iowa Public Television


Several Candidates Top Short List for Secretary of Agriculture

posted on December 15, 2000

Hello, I'm Mark Pearson.

After weeks of whining about the economic uncertainty precipitated by an uncertain presidential election, financial markets fell on the announcement the nation would have a new commander in chief.

Corporate earnings, inflation, and interest rates still influence financial markets more than does the occupant of the White House. Most indices suggest the economy is slowing. Industrial production fell last month, while wholesale and consumer inflation edged up. It is not anticipated the Fed will ratchet back interest rates when it meets next week, but it is expected the Fed will make rate cuts as early as next year to encourage investment. Home mortgage rates have already fallen to 18-month lows. A lower cost of money would be good news to consumers and investors alike, and to the new president who hopes he is not walking into a recession.

To address that and other potential challenges he is seeking to build a political coalition within the new administration.

George W. Bush, President-elect: "Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to earn your respect."

George W. Bush may be giving his acceptance speech 36 days later than he expected ... but he has been planning for quite some time, the Administration staff he'd assemble if and when he took over the White House.

Over the weeks, names have been released of possible future Bush cabinet members … including the person who may take the reigns away from the current Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman.

Among the names tossed out are Representative Charles Stenholm, a Texas democrat and ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee.

Ann Veneman, Former California Secretary of Agriculture: "Addressing these issues does not mean we have a problem with our food supply."

A less nationally known name mentioned for the top USDA spot is republican Ann Veneman. She is a former California Secretary of Agriculture, who currently works for a Sacramento law firm. Veneman also worked at the USDA during George Bush Senior's administration.

Tags: agriculture George W. Bush government news U.S. Secretary of Agriculture