According to this at Huffington Post, it’s looking like Kathleen Sebelius is the choice for Secretary of Heath & Human Services. Huffington is getting their info from ‘the AP.’ Politico apparently had an announcement up earlier in the day.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is President Barack Obama’s choice for secretary of health and human services, a White House source said Saturday.
The source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said Obama will formally announce the nomination on Monday.
Sebelius, 60, was an early Obama supporter. She picked his presidential campaign over that of Hillary Rodham Clinton, now the secretary of state. Sebelius worked tirelessly for Obama’s bid and was a top surrogate to women’s groups.
A couple of things caught my attention.
First – Sam Brownback is giving up his Senate seat in 2010, and Kansas Democrats apparently see Sebelius as the one to break the Republican stranglehold on the U.S. Senate. With Kansas having gubernatorial term limits, Sebelius, who is “in the middle of her second term as governor…is legally barred from seeking a third term next year. And the U.S. Senate hasn’t seen a Kansan Democrat since 1932.
The other thing that caught my attention was this riff from Johnathan Cohn, quoted in the Huffington article, as “an expert on health care policy, writes at The New Republic:
[People marvel about [Sebelius’] managerial abilities and there’s no question about having the relevant experience. She was the state insurance commissioner before she became governor; over the years, she’s fought to stamp out fraudulent carriers, block dangerous industry mergers, and overcome lawmakers opposed to expansions of government health insurance for kids. She’s well-known and well-liked by the health care advocacy community. And while she’s not steeped in the ways of Washington, she’d have plenty of advisors to help — not to mention a strong relationship with Obama, based in part on her bipartisan touch.]
However, Sebelius is said to be considering a run for the Senate in 2010, meaning she might turn down the HHS post if offered.
Now – it seems to me:
1. If she is considering a run for Senate, she is not entertaining the idea of being HHS secretary, but then why would her name be up for consideration?
2. If she is considering a run for the Senate in 2010, she’s doing Obama a favor now by considering and accepting the position whereas, the Obama team will continue looking for an HHS secretary to replace Sebelius once she ‘leaves’ to vie for the U.S. Senate. In the meantime she will be a “stop gap” HHS secretary.
Or – she will simply accept a cabinet position now and run for the Senate later ….. hmmm, I’m starting to make myself crazy with all this speculation.
if Sebelius IS considering a run for the Senate in 2010, why