Cabinet Change

November 16, 2004

November 16, 2004

A new wave of Cabinet officers is stepping up to the plate.

I compliment President Bush for his evolution courage and decisiveness. Not that the Cabinet officers leaving have not done a good job. They have! Some individuals from the original Cabinet just simply wanted to step aside. The job is all consuming. You effectively give your life over the job.

The President realizes that he has four more years to try to accomplish certain very important objectives. The budget deficit cannot be ignored. Social security needs to be reformed and he wants tax reform. On the agricultural side we are faced with a farm bill and trade negotiations.

The President needs to choose the right leadership to help him succeed. He needs leaders with special skills and qualifications that fit the job to be done.

Here is the backdrop. We have a ballooning budget deficit forcing inevitable reduction in farm spending not to mention unpleasant choices on Agricultural Trade. The President needs a Secretary of Ag. With credibility in farm country in rural America -- the heartland. The next Secretary must know his constituency, and be able to articulate farm policy. At the SaIne time he or she must be able to sell the President's plan to the farm Community. He needs someone that the Ag industry will listen to and believe.

I don't know to whom the President will tum; there are plenty of good possibilities. Let's start with Mo. Farm Bureau President, Charlie Kruise. If you want someone that really knows his way around, Congressman Charlie Stenholm, but he's a democrat. Don't overlook Chuck Conner, the President's Ag. Advisor in the White House. I've heard Glen Keppy's name, Orian Samuelson, and Gary Boise and Allen John. My advice to the President -remember Senator Bob Dole's words to Ronald Reagan, "We need a hands on farmer."

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.