Ed Driscoll

NOVAK: MINETA GONE? The Prince

NOVAK: MINETA GONE? The Prince of Darkness may have some good news. Bob Novak says:

The most likely member of the Bush Cabinet to be the first to depart is its only Democrat: Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, a former congressman from California.

When Mineta was unveiled as a surprise Bush Cabinet member, the Transportation Department appeared a relatively stress-free government agency. It has been near the forefront of the war against terrorism since Sept. 11, and Mineta has seemed overwhelmed, in the opinion of colleagues. At 70, he is not in the best of health.

A footnote: Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, unlikely to head the new Homeland Security Cabinet department, is talked about as a successor to Mineta. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson would have preferred Transportation when he resigned as governor of Wisconsin after the 2000 elections.