WASHINGTON (Nov. 22)
President-elect Jimmy Carter’s personnel coordinator has indicated the successor to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has not yet been selected and that Kissinger would provide counsel to him and the new chief executive.
Hamilton Jordan; head of Carter’s successful campaign for the Presidency, said on the CBS-Television program “Face the Nation” yesterday he does not rule out Cyrus Vance, former Defense Secretary, or Zbigniew Brzezinski, Columbia University professor, from high posts, in the new Administration. They have been mentioned as front-runners for Secretary of State and the President’s Assistant for National Security, respectively.
Asked about Carter’s reference to Kissinger at their meeting Saturday in Plains, Georgia as his good and old friend and his hope for a long relationship with him, Jordan said there is a tradition of former Secretaries of State being available to the President and their successors for advice and counsel.
“I am certain that President-elect Carter when he is President would want to have that kind of relationship with Secretary Kissinger,” Jordan said, “No specific role has been discussed. That would be inappropriate before Governor Carter decided who he wanted to be his own Secretary of State. So that’s premature at this point.”
Saying it is also “premature for us” to discuss suggestions that Kissinger serve as a special envoy to the Middle-East, Jordan said that in the interim period before Carter is inaugurated Jan. 20, the “main thing” is for Carter and Vice-President-elect Walter Mondale “to have a close relationship in the exchange of information” between them and President Ford and Kissinger.
The suggestion that Kissinger serve as special Mideast envoy was floated by Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D.Conn.) at a press conference in Jerusalem Nov. 10 at the end of a four-day visit by 13 U.S. Senators who were in Israel in connection with the projected sale of a U.S. nuclear power plant.