RFK to join JFK in '05?

By Mark Follman
Published November 3, 2004 2:46AM (UTC)
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Grist Magazine's Amanda Griscom (whose column "Muckraker" appears regularly on Salon) reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on the shortlist for EPA chief if Kerry takes the White House:

"The names running through the rumor mill range from longtime greenies like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Deb Callahan of the League of Conservation Voters to the doyenne of environmental philanthropy herself, Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry.

"'It's customary that people who have been working consistently on a campaign and helping to earn critical votes would stay on through the administration,' said one source, who served at an environmental agency under Clinton. 'It's not a quid pro quo necessarily, but it's the way things tend to be done. The word is that both Kennedy and Callahan are on the shortlist for top positions.'

No doubt putting RFK Jr. at the EPA helm could do wonders to help roll back the damage set in motion from sea to shining sea by four years of Bush policy. Still, Griscom notes that others think the respected environmental crusader may remain a pipe dream for enviros. "'Remember, Kerry would enter office knowing very well how divided our country is and Congress is,' said a Kerry advisor. 'He'd be looking for peacemakers to put at the head of his agencies, not troublemakers. You don't buy into a peacemaker when you buy into someone like Bobby Kennedy. He's a brilliant guy, but his most effective role may be outside the administration.'"

Griscom also has the run down on who may be tapped for the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy and other senior advisory positions on the environment in a Kerry White House. Beth Viola, a senior environmental adviser to the Dem, tells Griscom what all of those selected would be tasked with: "The number one priority will unfortunately have to be troubleshooting the Bush record," Viola said. "Kerry would have to spend a lot of his energy at the outset undoing that four years of environmental policy."

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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