In a mid-term report card, Secretary of State Colin Powell earns the highest grades among members of the Bush Cabinet, according to a National Journal study. Powell receives the only 'A' in the magazine's report card, which grades the department heads on such criteria as their influence within the administration. NPR's Bob Edwards interviews Jim Barnes, the weekly's chief political correspondent, about the report.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and Veterans Administration Secretary Anthony Principi were given 'A-'. The lowest grades went to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill (D), Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman (D), and EPA Administrator Christie Whitman (C-).
The officials were also graded on their clout on Capitol Hill, their success in helping the president politically and on how well they managed their departments.