The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Daschle Tends to Ill Family Member

By Ceci Connolly
Former senator Thomas A. Daschle, nominated to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, skipped the inauguration of his close friend Barack Obama in order to be with an ailing family member. A Daschle spokeswoman refused to release details, except to confirm that Daschle was outside of Washington today because of a family emergency.

Two other sources said that one of Daschle's three younger brothers has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was unclear when Daschle, who awaits a confirmation hearing by the Senate Finance Committee, would return to Washington.

Posted at 4:11 PM ET on Jan 20, 2009  | Category:  Cabinet
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This news cleared up what was becoming nefarious speculation as to the reasons for Daschle's absence. Like he was being dropped because as HHS nominee...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 20, 2009 6:02 PM

Thanks, BlueOx. It's kinda fuzzy in my memory, because I am used to the order in terms of Department creation date (and President Pro Tempore BEFORE Speaker -- that should give you a clue how old I am -- sorry, Nancy ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2009 4:41 PM

JakeD: Yes. Defense comes after VP, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Sec. of State, and Sec. of Treasury. Then we get AG, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and then HHS.

Posted by: BlueOx | January 20, 2009 4:30 PM

Does the Defense Secretary come before Health and Human Services in terms of the Line of Presidential Succession?

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2009 4:17 PM

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