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Obama Picks Daschle for HHS


Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

Updated 3:53 p.m.
By Ceci Connolly and Chris Cillizza
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen his close confidant and former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to several sources close to the transition.

Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, will also reportedly be given a policy portfolio that stretches beyond the department in order to help shepherd health-care reform legislation in 2009.

He will oversee a department of nearly 65,000 employees spread across 11 operating divisions with a budget this year of $707.7 billion. If he is confirmed by the Senate, his responsibilities will include the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Food and Drug Administration, public health programs and government research at the National Institutes of Health.

More significantly, Daschle has positioned himself as Obama's central adviser on efforts to dramatically expand health-care coverage next year, while at the same time lowering costs. During the campaign, Obama promised to reduce the average family's medical bill by $2,500.

Daschle had already been named to lead the transition team on health policy and in that role has begun preliminary conversations with candidates for other high-ranking posts within the sprawling department.

"Clearly, Daschle getting this appointment means the Obama administration is strongly committed to making health care reform an early and top priority," said Ron Pollack, executive director of the health advocacy group Families USA, reacting to the news.

There are certain to be questions surrounding Daschle's wife, Linda, a registered federal lobbyist with the firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. During Daschle's 2004 re-election campaign, Republicans sought to paint the Democrat as the ultimate Washington insider, using some of his wife's lobbying clients as evidence that the senator was more worried about Washington than South Dakota.

Sources close to the Daschle family said this afternoon that Linda Daschle will resign from the lobbying firm Baker, Donelson to remove any potential conflicts of interest going forward. Although she does not have health care industry clients, the company does represent numerous health interests. She intends to open her own shop which will be focused solely on transportation.

The Republican National Committee quickly pounced on Daschle's post-Senate activities in a statement released this afternoon.

"Barack Obama is filling his Administration with long-time Washington insiders," said RNC spokesman Alex Conant. "Since losing his Senate seat, Tom Daschle has worked for a major lobbying firm. For voters hoping to see new faces and fewer lobbyist-connections in government, Daschle's nomination will be another disappointment."

Daschle is not a lobbyist, although his firm -- Alston & Bird -- does have a lobbying arm.

For Daschle, the post at HHS is a political rebirth of sorts following a devastating defeat for re-election in 2004. Daschle, then the Senate Minority Leader, was defeated by Sen. John Thune, who two years earlier had lost a tightly contested race against Sen. Tim Johnson.

Daschle was one of Obama's earliest supporters and a number of Daschle-trained operatives -- field guru Steve Hildebrand, political mind Jennifer O'Malley and communications guru Dan Pfeiffer -- held senior roles in Obama's presidential campaign.

Daschle was initially rumored to be in the running for White House chief of staff but following Rep. Rahm Emanuel's (Ill.) ascension to that post became a leading candidate for HHS.

Daschle, 59, is a co-author of the book "Critical: What We Can Do about the Health-Care Crisis," in which he recommends creating an entity modeled after the Federal Reserve Board oversee health care in the United States.

When the book was released in February, one of the promotional blurbs was penned by then-Sen. Obama.

"The American health-care system is in crisis, and workable solutions have been blocked for years by deeply entrenched ideological divisions," Obama wrote at the time. "Sen. Daschle brings fresh thinking to this problem, and his Federal Reserve for Health concept holds great promise for bridging this intellectual chasm and, at long last, giving this nation the health care it deserves."

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 19, 2008; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Cabinet  
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Comments

Some of you folks are really ridiculous. Is BO supposed to IGNORE people with experience in government? Is he supp'd to use any relationship with the Clintons as a disqualifying factor? That's is just ridiculous.

As someone who DID vote for him and DID vote for change, I'm looking for the change to come in the tone, transparency and policies of his administration. I'm not gauging change by such simple scorecards of who used to work for who. Get a grip.

Posted by: liledjen4901 | November 19, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Change is NOT keeping the Bush Klan. As far as his appointments go, we had REALLY good times when Clinton was in office, so it only stands to reason that we need some of the former Clinton staffers; at least they're intelligent and not like the "yes" morons that Bush surrounded himself with.

Would any of you Repukes like to tell us all again why Obama will lose so I can laugh?

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | November 19, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Too bad he is to being appointed to head the Department of Homelane Security. Besides putting all the Bushies on the no-fly list, he could wire tap all of them and find out who really sent that anthrax letter to him.

Posted by: katman13 | November 19, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

See, this is the result of Racists, White Supremacists and Black man hating lesbians who were so turned off by a Black man running that they didn't fully look into how Barack Obama came to the National spotlight.

As the story was told by Obama in his book, Daschle invited young and up and coming Democrats to Iowa looking for future leaders of the Party. Only three men showed up. Barack Obama and two others. One of the others was involved in a Sex scandle and the other was indicted or fell off in some other way.

Also at this time John Kerry and his wife were campaigning through Chicago and heard Obama speak at a Democratic fundraiser.

When Kerry was looking for someone to speak at the 2004 Convention, he asked Daschle, to recommend someone and he recommended Obama and the rest is history.

Obama owes his appearence on the National scent to Tom Daschle, so of course he found a place for him.

Shame on the Idiots who aren't up on this story.

TKCAL

Posted by: Realbrother0003 | November 19, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh Boy, another new face on Obama's Pantheon of change.

Posted by: tharper1 | November 19, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, NO! This is not the change that I voted for. The best understanding of how Daschle operated can be gleaned from the numerous articles and editorials that The New York Times published in 1994 and 1995.

Here is the most comprehensive: Daschle is just about as 'slimy' as a politician can get. In 1994 and 1995, although biased towards Democrats, the New York Times ran a series and editorials decrying his conduct. Here is one of the most comprehensive:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE5DD123CF935A25753C1A962958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3

Posted by: neilc38 | November 19, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

you waste your time and energy second guessing Obama...... just hope he picks a team that can weave us through this ever tightening financial noose that dubyuh and his team have wrapped us in.....

Posted by: seakeys | November 19, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld and Cheney worked in the Nixon White House.

At least all of Nixon's dark lords are finally gone.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | November 19, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Neither Obama nor Daschle will ever solve this momumental problem at the core of our bankrupt economy by just modifying the present health care system. The best example of this futility is the fall of the Auto Industry and all related industries-none of which can ever be re-structured by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy without a single-payer health system and curtailment of unrealistic retiree benefits, no matter how much bailout money our Congress throws at them in the short-term, a hopeless waste.

Posted by: lionelroger

Lionel - these are extraordinary times. It will not be about tweeking here and there. Certainly, I hope not. I am hoping and expecting to see some massive re-shifts in the way we do business, at the governmental level at least.

Posted by: dc4mckinney | November 19, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Now this, this is a good pick!

It signals a return to responsibility and competence.

I'm not crazy about all the Clinton-ites. Afterall, where's the CHANGE?

Posted by: dc4mckinney | November 19, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

>>>I am disappointed at Barack Obama's picks for cabinet positions so far. Each and every one he has picked so far are washington insiders. Not only are they Washington insiders they've been there for over 15 years. All his talk about change was just talk....

Posted by: JohnMcCormick | November 19, 2008 5:42 PM

FYI - Change is not about changes in faces. Change has more to do with change of ideas and policies guided by experienced hands.

To get to your emphasis on "change," look back at George W. Bush administration. Wouldn't you say that many of the Bush II insiders came from the Bush I, Ford and Reagan White Houses? Think Condi Rice (George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush), Colin Powell (George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Reagan), Dick Cheney (George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ford) and Donald Rumsfeld (George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ford, Nixon) just for starters. Following the string of personnel here?

So...what's the problem with experienced people from the Clinton administration if they're coming to town with new and different policies that improve things over what used to be? Unless you're griping for the sake of griping...simply.

Posted by: ldsw | November 19, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

We have known him for more than 30 years. TOM DASCHLE is an GREAT CHOICE to head up Health and Human Service and lead efforts to develop a health insurance plan for this country. His wife Linda is a wonderful person and highly regarded here. He knows the Congress and government. No one works harder. True compassion for the ill, the elderly and the un-insured. Midwest honest. Will bring depth and experience to the Cabinet well beyond his department. Daschle will be of great help and service to President Obama and our country. One of the good guys. Curt Hohn, water utility manager, Aberdeen, SD

Posted by: CurtHohn-SD | November 19, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse


Obama is importing the entire Clinton administration.

Thought you were getting change? Suckers!!!

Posted by: JPVanderbilt | November 19, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The more one reads the readers' comments in all the Major online Newspapers, the more one realizes that our inability to compete in the World markets with our products, (what little we still manufacture), lies to a great extent on our lack of Universal Health care and unrealistic Union benefits. Neither Obama nor Daschle will ever solve this momumental problem at the core of our bankrupt economy by just modifying the present health care system. The best example of this futility is the fall of the Auto Industry and all related industries-none of which can ever be re-structured by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy without a single-payer health system and curtailment of unrealistic retiree benefits, no matter how much bailout money our Congress throws at them in the short-term, a hopeless waste.

Posted by: lionelroger | November 19, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

HUD is practically dead.

12thgeneration: gotta have a bit of Chi town in you to tackle that rabid Washington DC.
Harvard lawyer with Chicago moxy.
Gotta love it !!!!!

And now Daschle......Heck, I even like Rahm Emmanuel.
Bill Richardson for Secretary of State! YES

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | November 19, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Word around DC is that Philadelphia's Judge Nelson Diaz is high on the list for Secretary of HUD. He'd be a great choice, since he was HUD's General Counsel under President Clinton and knows the terrain. And the Brookings Institute is publishing a book on Housing and it cites the Diaz Opinion as the cause for the success of the HOPE IV (hope 6) program.

Posted by: koufax | November 19, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Word around DC is that Philadelphia's Judge Nelson Diaz is high on the list for Secretary of HUD. He'd be a great choice, since he was HUD's General Counsel under President Clinton and knows the terrain. And the Brookings Institute is publishing a book on Housing and it cites the Diaz Opinion as the cause for the success of the HOPE IV (hope 6) program.

Posted by: koufax | November 19, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

the babenemo, i don't want bush ,but i sure as hell don't want chicago rosty politics either.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | November 19, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Cschotta1 wrote:

WOW-He wrote a book, so he's qualified. Sounds alot like Obama. So easy to impress a liberal. LMMFAO!

------------
Not half as easy as it is to impress repubs, at least libs know how to appreciate a person with good writing and intellectual skills. Unlike repubs -look at GWBush, Sarah Palin... Must I go on. Repubs don't seem to care about ones intellect, they only care about people with star quality.

Posted by: LindaElliott | November 19, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

daschle reminds me of hal the computer in the movie 2001 a space odyssey. " sure,go ahead and step outside and i'll let you back in when you are done with the repairs".

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | November 19, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

President-Elect Obama is a Harvard lawyer from Cook County. I am from Cook County and I will take "a brother from Cook County" anyday, rather than white bread Texan Bush. I am sure President-Elect Obama knows Washington D.C. and all its wonderful ways very well. Took him about 2 years to get "fed up royally"....
enough to run. At least he wasn't drinking beer at BBQs waiting for Daddie to pony up the money for his presidential run(like Baby 43) (shades of Joe Kennedy)....

Best get used to it.
The Bush family has massacred the USA.
Reagan was not God.
Bush 41 won't get his New World Order.
Dick Cheney can go hunting all he wants and his PNAX won't make it....

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | November 19, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Right man for the right job. Good choice, Obama! Hope there will be many more similar appointments and no more Clintonites. Americans don't want more of the same. Real change is what they voted you for. We hope this is the start. Congrats Sen Daschle!

Posted by: jisantiago | November 19, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Daschle is a very good selection for the job.
National health care got a big boost with this appointment.
==
For those of us who support Barack Obama, just ignore the idiots who have invaded these comment boards and gripe about everything he does.
sherry is a good example.
Their brains are calcified and a few synapses are, unfortunately for us, still firing.
About 20 years in the wilderness ought to strip the GOP of all the rabid radicals they incited.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | November 19, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

My pick would have been soon to become former DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Afterall he is a real life medical doctor. It appears that HD has been pushed out the door after all of the hard work he did for the democrats these past 4 years. For some reason a lot of democrats he helped simply don't appreciate his efforts. It's really so sad.

Posted by: LindaElliott | November 19, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ramona54
For those of you complaining about "no change," had you rather see someone with no experience in the cabinet? How about someone who knows nothing about Washington and the back-stabbing games played here?


No thanks. We already have a President-elect for that.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | November 19, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

It seems the bigger the failure the more it enhances the lib resume! The Obama administration is shaping up to be a clone of the previous Clinton garbage dump!

Posted by: vgailitis | November 19, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

An excellent choice. Daschle is a savvy, skilled, accomplished leader with very strong relationships and a lot of good will on both sides of the aisle in the Senate. He knows how to get things done, like moving major health care legislation through the Congress, and his appointment signals that this legislation will be a top priority of the Obama administration.

I personally think it's a brilliant move to get Hillary Clinton as far away from the health care debate as possible by making her Secretary of State. Clinton has tried to make health care reform her signature issue, but she completely botched it once before by arrogantly trying to single-handedly craft a health-care plan and take all the credit for it, shutting out and alienating the congressional Democrats she needed to get it passed. As a result her health care plan was DOA on Capitol Hill. Things were shaping up that way again: it looked like Clinton was gearing up to try to arm-wrestle the health care issue away from both Sen. Kennedy who's been the champion of all things health care-related for the last 40 years, and from the Obama administration. With Clinton safely out of the way at State, it will be much easier for Obama, Daschle, Kennedy, Reid, Pelosi and other key congressional leaders to a agree on the substance of a health care reform package, and to actually move it through Congress without worrying about who's getting the bulk of the credit.

Posted by: bradk1 | November 19, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

""Barack Obama is filling his Administration with long-time Washington insiders," said RNC spokesman Alex Conant. "Since losing his Senate seat, Tom Daschle has worked for a major lobbying firm. For voters hoping to see new faces and fewer lobbyist-connections in government, Daschle's nomination will be another disappointment."

Daschle is not a lobbyist, although his firm -- Alston & Bird -- does have a lobbying arm."

Hey! It appears the RNC is dishonest and misrepresents things!

Posted by: bengtl | November 19, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

With Thomas Daschle heading up the Department of Health and Human Services, there is very good chance America will fix its broken health care delivery system. Movement Conservatives oppose anything that, to them, smacks of expanded government and Socialism. However, the system we got is overly expensive given that America spends at a much higher rate per capita than comparable Western nations and delivers worse performance. Could it be that the money that is spent by so-called health insurance companies to deny benefits (a significant fraction of the total amount spent) could be better used to improve the health of citizens in the aggregate? No? Of course, not, Karl. You think everybody should have to do for themselves or die and decrease the surplus population. The new way of doing health care should improve the health of citizens in the aggregate, cost less, insure more people, and remove the incentive to bureaucratize the process of extracting funds based on corporate health insurance's need to turn a profit. Further, more people should want to enter medicine and become physicians. Physicians today are turned off by the constant battle with The System to get paid. They'd rather concentrate on their patients than run a small business that is loaded down with time consuming paperwork and pleading phone calls to be made. And, you know what? The new system does NOT have to be government run or taxpayer financed. It just has to be organized to meet certain goals, none of which has anything to do with stock price targets or stock options for executives.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 19, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Daschle will do a good job. The GOP has left HHS a mess (surprise!), and I'm told there's been a brain drain in the past eight years, based on a variety of daffy Bush positions on issues like stem cell research, and the Bush predilection for rewarding incompetence so long as it's politically conservative (there are even some Regent U. grads working there, and those folks are poison). A lot of the really good administrators have moved over to Lilly, etc. or even into the insurance industry.

Grover Norquist strikes again, huh?

Meanwhile, the GOP loyalists are subjecting their Party to a rigorous self-examination, and coming to the conclusion that they lost because they weren't conservative enough...

Posted by: Samson151 | November 19, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

And remember,
we cannot go "universal"
before we go "electronic"

54% of medical establishments (doctors, clinics, offices, programs, etc)
haven't even gone electronic with their records.

Don't even mention the word UNIVERSAL, before you mention the word ELECTRONIC

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | November 19, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a comment as much as it is a question but does anyone know if someone from the medical profession has ever headed the Department of Health and Human Services?
I noticed that both the current and future department heads came from outside of the medical field.

Posted by: wm02 | November 19, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

response to: (cschotta1 | November 19, 2008 4:25 PM)

You're a little bit funny there, Sparky. Unlike your incompetent buddy W., Obama is about results. You won't see him let a retard like Donald Dumbsfeld keep his job until everythin'gs FUBAR. It's funny how Republicans are criticizing Obama before he's served one day as president. Those same RepubTards still think W. is doing a "heckuva" job. Show why the GOP has become an irrelevant party. The only time they make headline news is via scandals.

Posted by: con_crusher | November 19, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

oh puhleeze...

>>>>>

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | November 19, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

No! Fire him before you hire him! Modeled on the Federal Reserve! The Federal Reserve is a Private Company, owned by Banks which are owned by the richest families in America and Europe. see: http://www.fdrs.org/federal_reserve.html for the list. The Federal Reserve creates and sells us imaginary money, and makes an interest alone profit each year of 198 Billion which is ALL shipped overseas to a Rothschild Bank in Switzerland! see the internet film "The Money Masters" on Google or go to their FAQ's at : http://www.themoneymasters.com/faqs.htm
If this guy is modeling the Health System on the Federal Reserve, he is a World Banking Cartel lackey, and he will be creating a machine for creating Health Care that you pay for at every level, and sending the profits overseas, and NOT back into the system to help the poor. He is a New World Order mindset and their goal is recreate a feudal world as existed in the year 1200 when only royalty could own land and the people were their property. I voted for Obama, but I tell you now, he is betraying us all. God curse his house and all who follow him.

Posted by: vcompton1 | November 19, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

WOW-He wrote a book, so he's qualified. Sounds alot like Obama. So easy to impress a liberal. LMMFAO!

Posted by: cschotta1 | November 19, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I am so very happy that President-Elect Obama has selected Mr. Daschle. We have missed him!!!!
He is a hard worker and we need that in health services. He has always been fair and logical.
Perhaps he will tackle "eligibility parameters" in regards to state-administered health plans (speaking low income). I know that Arizona's AHCCCS is based on the FPL (federal poverty level). The FPL is so messed up, maybe Tom can do something about the "FPL mathematical equation".
YA THINK ????
THIS IS SIMPLY MARVELOUS !!!
CONGRATS TO TOM DASCHLE.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | November 19, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

For those of you complaining about "no change," had you rather see someone with no experience in the cabinet? How about someone who knows nothing about Washington and the back-stabbing games played here? "Change" IMHO means changing from the Bush status quo -- please give these folks a chance! Not my first choice as HHS head either, but let's see what Daschle can do-

Posted by: ramona54 | November 19, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

One poster had a good point about Hillary being a good choice, however I am happy with this Daschle. Like him or not, Daschle is a proven leader. DHHS is not usually accepted by someone so accomplished. This tells me that Obama is trying to actually change the system. Let’s not give up on Obama before he even gets sworn in. Let’s keep urging him to enact the change that he talked about during the campaign.

Posted by: Shawn1968 | November 19, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Each and every decision Obama makes is proof that he wants people who know the lay of the land to execute his changes. You can't bring change to Washington D.C. with a bunch of new people who don't know what they're doing. (SEE Carter, Jimmy) You bring change by changing the objectives. You still need people who know how to pull a purchase order.

So far, Obama continues to make decisions that will allow him to govern better and to be able to get legislation passed. You can wish for all the change you want, but if you don't have a way to get it through Congress, you're screwed.

Posted by: bjalexa | November 19, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Daschle will be alright to serve as HHS secretary, but let's not forget his past. He forgot the people he was supposed to be representing as soon as he became Senate minority leader. He ultimately lost his seat in the US Senate because people realized he care more about his own political gain. If he forgot about his duty to South Dakota before, who's to say he won't forget about his duty to the United States of America?

Posted by: KT85 | November 19, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So disappointing, yet more proof that CHANGE means SOS. We need fresh ideas and thinking, not the tired old ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.

Posted by: MikeN3 | November 19, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a shame that the Repubs still have not heard the message. They are still talking earmarks etc. etc. Still going negative. They need to take a page from Chuck Hagels book. The American people want problem solvers not problem makers. P.L.

Posted by: EAguard54 | November 19, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Giving that freakin' Israeli Lieberman Homeland Security ticks me off to no end. Bad enough that Chertoff, who is a dual US and Israeli citizen, whose mother was an original Mossad high ranking officer, helped smuggle out of the country the Mossad demolition crew that laid charges at the WTC (the weekend before while the power and surveillance were conveniently shut off-they were caught cheering the Towers collapse and destruction on Barbara WaWa 20/20) when he was FBI #2...Now, they have a rear guard to cover their tracks and escape, and this almost certainly will guarantee another 9-11 within the next few years carried out by the usual crews..

Posted by: frak | November 19, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, all you weak minds who bought the "Change" scam are finally understanding that the affirmative action rookie is nothing more than a typical lying democrat. Daschle is a walking cadaver. No personality, no energy and no new ideas, except how to spend a load of yur tax dollars. The new administration is looking much like a poorly made retread tire. I can't wait for the treads to start falling off.

Posted by: LarryG62 | November 19, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! Can we get Counting Crows, the Rembrandts, and Toad the Wet Sprocket to play at this 1990s reunion?

Posted by: enaughton27 | November 19, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Sherrykay, Wow you have a secret lesbian crush on Palin?

Posted by: jonnybullet | November 19, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Good Choice...

He will govern well...

The baine and worry of the GodGop.

Anyone who has been afflicted with Neocon Koolaides will have serious withdrawl....
AND hopefully UNEMPLOYED!!

Damn that will be great watching them experience the unemployment line collecting their foodstamps.

ISA

Posted by: Issa1 | November 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

all the old white folks are in power again...
seems more like clintons administration than obama's, do you think they will mess up and call obama bill
...lol
...that would be funny
...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, another disappointing appointment. First Rahm, a former Israeli soldier and Zionist which will not bring objectivity to the White House about the Middle East, and now Daschle, who has absolutely no qualifications for being HHS. He and his wife both work in the lobbying industry--the arch nemesis of good health care--and it seems like all he ever did in recent years was endorse Obama and write a book.

...did anyone ever think that maybe HILLARY should have been the HHS since health care is kind of HER thing.

I am already just as disappointed in Obama's administration as I knew I would be.

Posted by: mmendieta | November 19, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like sour grapes from the RNC spokesman, Alex Conant. Nice building they have on "C" Street, S.E., though.

Posted by: mortified469 | November 19, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

My first reaction to Daschle was anger and frustration. We just sent Obama to the WH with a mandate of reform and fresh ideas and he's bringing in the same old players. I hope he takes us in the direction he promised him to do, otherwise it's off with his head. The jury's still out. I voted for him on account of his ability to lead and make sound decisions. I'm still betting on him. I think this is a strategic move to bring on board key line members to put the proper face on the changes Obama hopes to introduce. Let's face it he's going to use the old guards to push his new agenda. At least I hope that's the strategy. If not were sunk. THINK LBJ! Master of the SENATE!

Posted by: lioneldorsey | November 19, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter, I'll admit I'd like to see a few new faces, but with all that needs to be done (stopping two illegal wars; single-payer health care; ending torture; rejuvenating the Constitution; trying Bush for murder) the new administration might need some people who know the way the system works. Maybe Kerry, a former soldier, could head Defense, or former Congressman Ron Dellums? For a new face perhaps Carl Pope, of Sierra Club, could head the EPA. That would be a change, someone who cares about the environment heading the EPA.

Posted by: Bookfarmer | November 19, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

JC505,

There are two possible explanations for "close confidant". Either the two have worked extensively together on a project, or they were secret lesbian lovers. Your choice.

Posted by: XanderB | November 19, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse


Daschle is a good, solid pick. He has a history of working in a bipartisan fashion in the Senate. Not everyone with Washington experience is a rabid partisan.

Bipartisan also does not mean centrist. It means willing to compromise with the other side. Of course the GOP isn't going to be happy with anyone Obama nominates. Too bad.

When Obama promised to change how Washington works, he didn't promise to hire all outsiders. And if he does some, like naming the head of Greenpeace to the EPA or something, I'm sure the GOP will howl all the louder.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | November 19, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, no no doubt about it. positive Change is needed.

Posted by: beautiful11 | November 19, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Damn, this means Hillary is going to be Sec of State.

An Iraq war supporter.

Oh well, back to boycotting American goods, I guess.

Posted by: Bud0 | November 19, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans are whining, you know its a good pick.

I say Daschle them back, Tom.

Posted by: PrattleinSeattle | November 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I really have no problem with a "Washington insider" for this position if they can actually get us Universal Health care (and rid us of the leech-like health insurers).

But I question the designation of Daschle as a "close confidant" of president-elect Barack Obama. What does the term "close confidant" actually mean in this context?

I have seen this term applied to approximately 3 million people so far this year and surely Barack Obama can't have THAT many "close" confidants! I don't see how it's possible for Barack to "confide" in so many people and still have time to eat, breathe, live and run for president.

Is there some hidden message that the term "close confidant" conveys that we mere mortals can't decipher?

Posted by: JC505 | November 19, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Excellent choice ---for change in the way Washington has been run by the crooked Bush Cabinet Secretaries.

Change for the good must involve like-minded leadership who know their way around the nation's capital. They will take their lead from our new President and operate in the direction and style that he will establish.

Change for the good of the country is what Obama promised -- and solid choices like Tom Daschle will help to ensure that Obama's administration starts strong and runs true.

The whining and carping on these threads about no real change in the Obama administration are from apparent supporters of the status quo.

Shame on them for raising voices of resistance before any action has been taken. They are crying WOLF for purposes that are not related to the best future for our country.

As someone else has pointed out below ---who should Obama hire ---amateurs?

Posted by: shavasana | November 19, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, Duh!!!
When George Soros bought B. Obama it wasn't for naming rights to some areana, it was to name his cabinet (among other things). Daschle has been drawing his pay from the Center for American Progress, i.e. for Mr. Soros. I think you'll find the same, different front organizations of course, for the rest of President elect Soro's, excuse me, Obama's picks. I'll say this for the man (BHO) he does as he is told.

Posted by: majcsmith | November 19, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Fat Cats $$$$ voted in a Kitten.
Surprised?

Posted by: doggit1 | November 19, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow - more change we can believe in.

Also known as

Back to the future, or everything old is new again or for the frenchifiles Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

Let's hope we can keep the change in our pockets.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 19, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

What change!! If you look up the word liberal there's a picture of Daschle. It seems to me that Obama said some like "nothings free". We, the taxpayers, are already giving the kitchen sink away. We can not give any more. He's one FAT CAT. He doesn't know what it's like to Work for a living. Like ALL politians, they have staff do the WORK. The working poor and the rest of us that make less than $50,000.00 a year are in for TROUBLE.

Posted by: doughboy96 | November 19, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The president of change is at again. Tell me is there anyone new that he has appointed to any posts? I didn't think so. The guy will prove to be a phonie.

Posted by: theBozyn | November 19, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I love how people are criticizing Obama or picking "Washington Insiders" as opposed to new faces. So you'd rather have inexperienced people running the country than those that know how Washington operates and can move through the ranks without creating splashes? As long as he is choosing people that are willing to do what it takes to make the changes needed to bring this country out from the hole the Bush Administration put is in, then I'm fine with it. Can we try to not criticize Obama until he's President? Or is that too much to ask.

Posted by: XanderB | November 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Puppet Hussein,
The strings are strong and unbreakable...

Posted by: doggit1 | November 19, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Obama is assembling an All-Star team to lead his cabinet. Yes, these people are very experienced and you might rightly call them "Washington insiders"; however, in my view, this is the type of team we want to get things done! Holder, Daschle, Clinton, etc. have the expertise for implemening systemic change and solutions to our most pressing national and international crises. These people are of the stellar caliber it is going to take to bring true change to our Government. MY HAT GOES OFF TO THE OBAMA TEAM. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

Posted by: SWadvocate | November 19, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As a democrat, Obama has to fill his cabinet positions with democrats, so I don't think any of us Republicans are going to be thrilled with those choices.

Having said that, choosing Daschle for HHS is a far more intelligent pick than choosing Michael Brown to run FEMA when his only qualification was being friends with Joe Allbaugh.

We Republicans should just sit back a minute and not make ourselves look more stupid than we already appear.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | November 19, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

sherrykay, you have issues. Give the guy a chance. Change will come from Obama for the greater good. If not, he probably will not get re-elected. But he should get at least a day or two as President before we decide nothing will change. I wish we would have voted out Bush as fast as you voted out Obama.

Posted by: phillyfan25 | November 19, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Majority of People in his own state didn't think he was doing a good job, and now he is going to be placed into another leadership position? Since some of these loosers can't be voted in, I guess they will be placed back in, by the DNC, and their new minion Obama. Can't people like Daschle get a real Job in the Private workforce??? And why do you think that is???

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss |
++++++++++++++++++++++++
That is because South Dakota is mostly a bunch of right wing Repubicans who long ago lost their way when they voted in unlimited usury - whichis why citigroup put their credit card business there.

Posted by: TimeforChange | November 19, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Sure,sure some "Change You Can Believe In'
there Screw Up Elect Obama! Out With Obama
in 2012 For Sure.

Posted by: sherrykay2008 | November 19, 2008 2:35 PM "
--------
He hasn't even taken office yet. I didn't like it when Bush was appointed, but I gave him a chance.

Me thinks you harbor some prejudices against Obama from the get-go.

What should he do?, hire people from the private sector?, or maybe some Republicans?

Obama is a sober-minded, thoughtful individual, we need to see how his picks and ideas work out before we pre-judge his judgment.

Posted by: JRM2 | November 19, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This is wonderful news!!!! Daschle is a great pick and a wonderful person. He will do a great job and put those pharmaceutical companies in their place - under Bush they have been ripping off senior citizens with unrealisitc out of this world costs. Great choise Obama! another great pick by Obama , Holder is a great pick too!!

Posted by: TimeforChange | November 19, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Excellent choice,and a Obama supporter from day one. Now, I want him to offer a poition to Richardson and Kerry.

Posted by: prosperity2un2000 | November 19, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Hmm, doesn't look like Obama is bringing any kind of change to Washington, DC. In fact, by adding Daschle, Clinton, and other career politicians to his cabinet, it looks like the Obama Administration will be nothing more than Washington-like normal.....

Posted by: WildBill1 | November 19, 2008 2:06 PM |"
------
So what do you recommend he do?, pick people from the private sector?

He is picking COMPETENT people who can enact his ideas for America - that is change from the current administration.

Posted by: JRM2 | November 19, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

OK. Obama is starting to go overboard with the 'experience' thing. We get it, Rocky. You are surrounding yourself with experienced people so Americans won't be afraid that your lack of inexperience is a real issue. Got it.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 19, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Good God not another old guard Democrat
loser by Screw Up Elect Barrack Obama again
so where the Hell is all this "Change you
Can Believe In" when Obama keeps naming
party hacks Like Tom Daschle for Sec of
Health and Human Services,as Daschle will
be as clueless running DHHS as Obama will
be running the White House...God what a
band of real losers you got there Screw Up
Elect Obama! We need to make Obama A One
Term And Out OF The White House President!

The reason that sexist Obama won't name any
other women to his cabinet,other then Sen
Hillary Clinton,since the Clinton's own
Barack Hussein Obama lock stock and barrel,
is that Michelle Obama and Obama's New
Mommy Mad Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi are
too jealous to let that 98lb wimpy gurly man Barack Hussein Obama name another one.
Sure,sure some "Change You Can Believe In'
there Screw Up Elect Obama! Out With Obama
in 2012 For Sure.

Posted by: sherrykay2008 | November 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What a great choice!!!! Welcome back we missed you!!!

Posted by: midnightladyNC | November 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

great as in GREAT choice! BTW Hillareans.... this is the way it happens.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | November 19, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Those of you complaining that Obama is not choosing cabinet members to effect change are confusing Obama's change promise with McCain's copycat change mantra.

It was McCain who promised change by choosing unknown, unprepared, inexperienced "mavericks" like Palin.

Obama never promised new faces.....he promised change...as in yes we can. It will take the experienced individuals he is selecting to effect real change.

Just because someone is unknown in Washington doesnt mean they have what it takes to effect real change. Change comes from new approaches and new ideas...not necessarily from new faces.

Posted by: antiquepaper1 | November 19, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Change you can believe in ....

Posted by: lovinliberty | November 19, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, doesn't look like Obama is bringing any kind of change to Washington, DC. In fact, by adding Daschle, Clinton, and other career politicians to his cabinet, it looks like the Obama Administration will be nothing more than Washington-like normal.....

Posted by: WildBill1 | November 19, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Clintonian Tsunami continues. Change marches on? Nevertheless, I too would like us to see how Sen. Daschle's book suggests we resolve both the National bankruptcy and that of the Big Three without Universal Health Care. A good start would be stopping all these endless War expenses and taking the money for Universal Health Care. We are waiting to see a serious analysis of his solutions. The media should push for this right away.

Posted by: lionelroger | November 19, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

***The sexist Obama is keeping to his highly discriminatory campaign style and choosing ALL MEN.
So much for a cabinet that reflects American demographics!***

Not that I HAVE experience in NOT satisfying a woman but if she's to be critical of a result, it might help to provide that critique once the event has transpired?

Perhaps if you Saved your astute criticism until AFTER he's selected his Cabinet it just might reflect a little OBJECTIVE merit?

I believe it's about 15Seats at the Cabinet Table?

You're all rev'd up after TWO? Man, Opps, I mean WoMan, he'd better hurry up and pick a woman quick, huh?

When I was YOUNG, a few Ladies in my life have showed me the value of not being so QUICK and Impatient. I believe I've learned the lesson and it's served me well:):):)

Posted by: MarkAntney | November 19, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The Majority of People in his own state didn't think he was doing a good job, and now he is going to be placed into another leadership position? Since some of these loosers can't be voted in, I guess they will be placed back in, by the DNC, and their new minion Obama. Can't people like Daschle get a real Job in the Private workforce??? And why do you think that is???

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | November 19, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't his wife a lobbyist? So we have a Washington insider with a high-powered lobbyist wife .... yep, sounds like big changes in Washington. I don't think this one's been done before.

Posted by: playfair109 | November 19, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Bad choice, this guy was very difficult to work with when he was in the Senate. obama is not much on following up with "time for change"..more and more dead heads from the past. This is the best and the brightest?

Posted by: yokosuka1985 | November 19, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

What a horrible decision! Dashle is a blast from the establishment past. He practically destroyed the Democratic Party when he was Senate Majority leader. He is one of the most wishy washy dems D.C. ever had. Who vetted this guy? This is not change. When are we going to see NEW FACES!?

Posted by: spikeaus | November 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Hillary has more experience in the court room. She should consider a seat as supreme court justice. She will serve greater justice in the senate.

Posted by: deltapi9999 | November 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Tom Daschle is a decent and very capable man, but IMHO, Howard Dean would have been the better choice. However, let's wish Daschle well in restoring HHS's reputation.

And to nuke41: I really hope you were equally critical of the horrendous cronyism and corruption surroudning more than a few Bush cabinet/dept. members.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 19, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The sexist Obama is keeping to his highly discriminatory campaign style and choosing ALL MEN.

So much for a cabinet that reflects American demographics!

Posted by: mgd1 | November 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Yet another Washington insider for the Obama change machine."

You're right. He should have stuck with the status quo of selecting people who run Arabian horse associations.

Posted by: DaveD2 | November 19, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

To change a system from the inside, in a way that is not burn the place to the ground revolutionary, you need people who understand how that system operates. You can't make a watch run better if you don't know how the watch works. Anyone who knows anything about systems change will tell you that. It's amazing how many people who live and work in Washington have such a loose grasp on how politics and policy actually happens.

Posted by: coupland12 | November 19, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Great choice! Daschle is an honorable and smart man, is personally close to Obama, and has the political shrewdness to get a well-designed healthcare reform through Congress. I hope that he has the administrative ability to run a department of 65,000 and a budget of $700 billion.

This, of course, forestalls the alternative option of putting Hillary at the head of HHS--which would not have been as good a choice.

Does this mean that Hillary is going to be put at State? Bill is the biggest stumbling block there.

Personally, I hope that Hillary stays in the Senate and helps Ted Kennedy and Baucus get healthcare reform legislated, then takes over Kennedy's mantle as the Great Liberal. Or perhaps goes onto the Supreme Court.

Daschle, however, is an inspired choice for HHS. Congratulations to Obama for making the right decision.

Posted by: jm917 | November 19, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Good way to start things off. Daschle has what it takes. One more step in the right direction of eradicating the right!

http://www.everypoet.net/poetry/blogs/neocon_shakes_fear

Posted by: newamba_flamingo | November 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ceci, I think Daschle is a fine pick for HHS-but why don't you do your readers a favor, and tell us more about Daschle's book-how this entity like the Federal Reserve Board can actually get to the desired goal of universal health care for US citizens? I for one would like a reporter to talk about that!

But I guess that's a little too difficult for you all to manage, isn't it?

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | November 19, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Yet another Washington insider for the Obama change machine.

Posted by: nuke41 | November 19, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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