Cabinet Secretaries Club Luncheon 2001

December 18, 2001

December 18, 2001

I have served as a host for the annual Cabinet Secretaries Holiday luncheon for 15 years. Last week more than 40 former and current members of the Presidents' Cabinet came together for lunch at the historic Madison Hotel here in Washington. The Cabinet post with the most attendees was Agriculture -including Ann Veneman, Dan Glickman, Mike Espy, Clayton Yeutter and yours truly. Department of Transportation came in second with four former secretaries. As is always the case, a delicious luncheon was followed by the fun part.

Each Cabinet member is asked to make a prediction about the upcoming year. But before the new predictions began, I reminded some of them about what they predicticted last year.

Jakck Kemp: "The Nasdaq will get back to 5000. " It can't seem to stay above 2000 but fourtunately Jack didn't say when it would get back to 5000.

Former CIA director Jim Woolsey predicted, "Sadam Hussein has some real horror show up his sleeve for us. "Well, the horrific event did happen. It was Osama bin Laden to blame, not Sadam Hussein.

As to the predictions for 2002, Former Attorney General Ed Meese from the Regan Cabinet said, "Bob Dole will join Bill Clinton in the Senate spouses' club. "if Elizabeth Dole wins the North Carolina Senate seat, he will be correct.

Donna Shalala from the Clinton Cabinet: "The Miami Hurricanes will win the National Football Championship on January 3 by four touchdowns. "Donna Shalala is the President of Miami University.

Clayton Yeutter said, "After getting by next year's elections, we will begin a serious effort to open trade with Cuba. "I agree. Dan Glickman: "In future years the position of Secretary of Agriculture will become the most important one in the Cabinet. "I vote for that, Dan!

Don Hodel from the Reagan Cabinet said, "If Senator Strom Thurman doesn't run again next year, he will be soliciting money from all of us for a new business. "Senator Thurman just celbrated his 99th birthday -- like the energizer bunny.

Mike Espy of the Clinton Cabinet predicted, "Withe the new farm bill and trade bill, farm prices will increase and farmers will be delighted. "And I predicted, "The baseball Commissioner will not be able to eliminate two teams because he is afraid the Governor Jesse Ventura will give him a body slam."

Have a Merry Christmas. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.