Why The Gop Loves To Hate Bob Rubin

The Treasury Secretary has emerged as the most powerful player in the Clinton Cabinet

When President Clinton journeyed to Capitol Hill on Feb. 11 for a budget summit, his Republican hosts counted the chairs with special care. "We made sure there were only the exact number at the table" for Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore, and congressional leaders, smirks a GOP aide. The target of the snub: Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, who was forced to sit with lowly staffers. The missing-chair stunt was a symbol of frustration with Rubin, whom Republicans view increasingly as the chief hurdle to a host of GOP priorities--from the balanced-budget amendment to a broad capital-gains tax cut.

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