Clinton Administration officials today confirmed recent rumors that Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, 73, will resign early next year, leaving the Clinton Administration without one of its most experienced and highly-regarded policy makers. Bentsen, however, took a page from the Mark Twain playbook, telling reporters that reports of his departure were "premature." Leading the pack of talked-about replacements: Robert Rubin, head of Clinton's National Economic Council and the former co-chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co. TIME Washington correspondent Adam Zagorin says Bentsen has decided to quit "for a lot of reasons. First, he's getting on. The timing coincides with what would have been the end of his Senate term had he not taken this job. Second, although he's deeply respected, his views have not carried the unusual weight that they might have, considering his position as the 'senior' Cabinet person." The scale-tipper, Zagorin says, was probably the Democrats' November losses.