Transportation Secretary Samuel K. Skinner is planning key staff shifts so that he may more easily take an active part in the 1992 campaign. Skinner wants to replace Deputy Secretary Elaine Chao, who is departing to head the Peace Corps, with the Federal Aviation Administration chief, retired Admiral James Busey. Then, he would install retired Army General Jerry Curry, currently National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, in Busey's job. But despite Skinner's efforts to line up support for the changes on Capitol Hill, the White House may not clear Skinner's flight plan. It would rather reserve the plum deputy slot for a Bush loyalist.

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