A `hands on' Democratic cabinet. A Dukakis administration would likely be culled from Harvard

Should Michael and Kitty Dukakis move into the White House come January, will the nation's capital become a Harvard on the Potomac? With Mr. Dukakis's strong ties to the university near Boston - he taught there in between stints as governor - there is a great deal of speculation in Washington that much of the Harvard intelligentsia would saddle up and move south to take over the reins of government.

And there is plenty of room for them, too. There are about 3,000 direct appointments to be made by whoever controls the White House. The Senate gets final approval for 700 of those positions, but since the upper chamber will be in Democratic hands, little resistance is anticipated.

The head of Gov. Dukakis's transition team, Marcia Hale, says they are only working on the process by which political appointees will be picked. ``We are not making a list, nor will we make a list until November the 9th,'' she says. ``I do not have any doubt that he would bring in a group of close advisers and then reach out to a broader community to come up with suggestions.''

For Secretary of State, a highly sought after post, several names are offered. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton of Indiana is highly favored by Dukakis insiders, although former Harvard classmate and Maryland Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes is also a likely candidate.

Representative Hamilton is the second-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chaired the special committee investigating the Iran-contra affair. Senator Sarbanes is an ardent critic of Reagan administration foreign policy and chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Walter Mondale, who sought the presidency in 1984, is also frequently mentioned.

Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia is a top contender for the post of secretary of defense, as is Rep. Les Aspin of Wisconsin. Both head the Armed Services Committee in their respective chambers and would strengthen Dukakis's defense image.

Another name at the top of the list is former Central Intelligence Agency deputy director Bobby R. Inman, now a businessman with strong ties to the high-technology community.

At Treasury, look for House Budget Committee chairman William H. Gray III of Pennsylvania or Felix G. Rohatyn, an investment banker who holds a senior partner position with Lazard Freres & Co. A former US trade representative and one-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Robert Strauss, is also in the running.

Dukakis campaign chairman Paul Brountas and campaign manager Susan Estrich are both considered possibilities for attorney general, as is Harvard University president Derek Bok. Political insiders give the edge to Mr. Brountas.

The Interior Department could be headed by former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, who ran against Dukakis in the Democratic primary. Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm is also a possible pick.

Mr. Babbitt is also mentioned as a likely candidate for secretary of commerce, as is Michigan Gov. James J. Blanchard - who may not look favorably on a move to Washington.

Governor Blanchard gets double billing as a likely pick to run the Labor Department. Other possibles include Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represented Jesse Jackson in the Democratic platform deliberations, or a high-ranking union official.

Names offered for agriculture secretary include three congressmen: Dan Glickman of Kansas, E. (Kika) de la Garza of Texas, and Charles W. Stenholm of Texas.

Two state agricultural commissioners are also mentioned - Jim Hightower of Texas and Jim Nichols from Minnesota.

The list of high-level appointees shows a penchant for elected officials. A hands-on executive, Dukakis likes to get his boots muddy with the details of governing and is expected to lean toward administration officials comfortable and savvy with administering the public good.

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