As White House administration officials hint that Treasury Secretary John W. Snow will depart his post sooner rather than later, media reports are already swirling about who will be his successor.
Snow -- an economist who replaced ousted Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill two years ago -- is expected to be the next casualty as President Bush continues to overhaul his cabinet for his second term. So far, eight cabinet secretaries have resigned, and more are expected to go in the next week or two, according to reports.
The White House has yet to publicly address Snow's fate. Last week, The Washington Post cited a senior administration official as saying, "Snow can stay as long as he wants, provided it is not very long."
This week, The New York Times cited Republicans with ties to the White House as saying that President Bush has decided to replace Snow and has been looking closely at a number of possible replacements. According to the Times report, an adviser to the White House, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said earlier this week that "a firm decision had been made to replace Mr. Snow as soon as Mr. Bush could settle on a successor."
Reports by both the Times and The Financial Times cited White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr.,who served as transportation secretary under the president's father, and Phil Gramm, a former Republican senator from Texas who is currently an executive with securities firm UBS, as being on the short list of Snow's possible successors.
Snow's post is expected to gain prominence during Bush's next term, as Social Security and tax code reform are set to be top White House priorities over the next four years.
Other possible successors named include lawyer and venture capitalist Gerald L. Parsky, who served as an assistant treasury secretary in the Ford administration, and Wall Street figures Stan O'Neal, chairman of Merrill Lynch, Hank Paulson, chairman of Goldman Sachs, and John Mack, former co-chairman of Credit Suisse.
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