New faces are expected in Bush cabinet

President Bush told reporters Thursday that "there will be some changes" in his cabinet. "I haven’t made any decision," the president added in his first press conference since winning a second term.

But that hasn’t stopped the speculation. Cabinet shakeups come with every new term and Mr. Bush’s next four years will no doubt mean new faces in critical White House positions.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to resign before the New Year, due in part to recent health concerns. He had gallbladder surgery in March, says CBS News.

According to the Indian Express, the expected departure of Secretary of State &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Colin Powell will calm the internal debates that have raged between Conservatives and Moderates since the beginning of Bush’s first term.

And the new appointments will consolidate the influence of Vice-President Dick Cheney in the national security arena, say aides.

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>White House sources predict there will not be a major exodus in the short term. They said Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made it known that he wants to remain in office to oversee the efforts of US forces to overcome the insurgency in Iraq.

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>Rumsfeld has asked the White House to allow him to remain for two years. Though Bush had lavished praise on Rumsfeld early in his term, it has become less clear how the President feels about him after 20 months of strife in Iraq. If Rumsfeld left soon, it would be seen by some as a sign that the President has been more troubled by the conduct of the war than he has been willing to admit. Also believed to be gone in a second Bush term: Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, among others.

A key question is what happens to Bush's trusted national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. The talk about her is that she could stay in her job, eventually move to Defense or State, or go back to California.

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