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One political scientist's all-star team of commissioners

By Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor / February 2, 1983


Commissions tend to have similar demographics: Each will have a labor leader, one professor, a business figure or two, etc. And commissioners, drawn from the relatively small pool of nationally known, adequately respectable figures, tend to show up on more than one panel.

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An all-star team of commissioners, in the eyes of a political scientist who wishes to remain nameless, might thus consist of these players:

Elliot L. Richardson - ''The perfect commissioner.'' Secretary of everything for Republican administrations, yet still appeals to Democrats.

Joseph A. Califano Jr. - A close second. Democratic White House aide and Cabinet secretary, yet still friends with Republicans. Now a Washington lawyer.

Patricia Roberts Harris - Black, female, former Carter Cabinet secretary.

Lane Kirkland - Head of AFL-CIO. Served on recent social security commission.

Derek Bok - President of Harvard University. A first-string academic choice.

Ellen Futter - Youthful president of Barnard College. Another star from academia.

Peter G. Peterson - Former secretary of commerce under Nixon, now head of a Wall Street firm. A respectable Republican financier.

Felix Rohatyn - A respectable Democratic financier.

Reginald Jones - Former chief of General Electric, an old-line, respectable company. High-tech firms are not yet seasoned enough to produce commission candidates.

J. Irwin Miller - Head of Cummins Diesel. Not well know nationally, but a heavy in Midwest Republican circles. Already served on four presidential commissions.