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Kathleen Sebelius To Be Named HHS Secretary

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas will be tapped by President Obama to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama chose Sebelius, 60, as his nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, the key agency in his health-care effort.

“Governor Sebelius brings extraordinary qualifications to this role, as a popular two-term governor known for her bipartisan approach,” a White House official told The Kansas City Star. “The governor has unique insight and experience to draw on as President Obama’s partner in lowering health-care costs and expanding coverage.”

The formal announcement is expected Monday. Sebelius made no statement, and her spokeswoman would not confirm the appointment.

I confess to some surprise at this appointment. Not because I don’t think Gov. Sebelius is a bad pick for the job–indeed, she’s extraordinarily qualified for it. No, I’m surprised because pretty much everyone around these parts expected her to run for U.S. Senate in 2010 to fill Sam Brownback’s seat (Brownback is stepping down after this term). She’s pretty much the only Democrat in the state of Kansas who could have possibly picked up an extra seat for the Democratic Party. So yeah, I’m a little surprised at the appointment.

UPDATE (James Joyner):  The thing that befuddles me about this is that I can’t imagine why one would rather be head of a second tier government agency rather than governor of a state.  Granted, being a Democrat chief executive in a Republican-leaning state with a Republican-dominated legislature has to be somewhat frustrating.  But running a giant bureaucracy, subject to the whims of the president, oversight of the Congress, and resistance to change from a tenured workforce is not exactly without its frustrations.

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About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    The thing that befuddles me about this is that I can’t imagine why one would rather be head of a second tier government agency rather than governor of a state.

    Dude, this is pretty obvious–the broad is building her resume.

    She’s got the Governor thing under her belt, if some type of health reform takes place this chick takes credit for it.

    Getting out of the hellhole that is Kansas also gives her exposure to a larger audience.

    Assuming Hussein wins in ’12, she leaves the admin in ’13 to start building her campaign.

    If the whole enterprise goes sour–she can fall back on a lobbying/think tank gig.

    Its a no-brainer.

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  2. Bithead says:

    The thing that befuddles me about this is that I can’t imagine why one would rather be head of a second tier government agency rather than governor of a state.

    Forget where she’s been; I wonder why would someone accept such a placement? With so many of Obama’s appointments having some serious skeletons hidden, or not so hidden, I think if I were appointed into such a group of people, I’d feel vaugely insulted. Then again, I think criminal behavior isn’t a good thing, so what do I know…

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  3. just me says:

    Well let’s hope she paid her taxes.

    I wonder why she is taking this spot too. Seems like if she was out to resume build, she would consider the senate seat a better resume check than HHS, and one that might come with a longer term job security.

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  4. Scott Swank says:

    …broad…chick…hellhole that is Kansas…Hussein…

    Wow, 2 sexist, 1 elitist and 1 bigoted slur all before lunch. Nice work Triumph.

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  5. Wayne says:

    She spent most of her last term passing policies to get her notice for a national liberal job. I will be glad to see her go. The Lt. Governor may not be much better but one never knows. Some of her policies have been so bad that they are about to be overturn with veto proof votes by the legislators. The hope here has been if Obama did get elected he would get Governor Sebelius out of our hair.

    I’m still not sure how she got elected. GOP had a weak candidate and she had big money and the Newspapers backing her not to mention Kansas City but still. Now I did run across several women her voted for her because she was a women but I hope that wasn’t the reason she won.

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