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.