The Secretary and the Czar: Obama Bets Big on Daschle for Healthcare

By Lindsay Beyerstein, MediaWire blogger

It's official, former Sen. Tom Daschle will be Barack Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle will also serve as Health Czar, which means he will be in charge of developing Obama's healthcare program in addition to running HHS.

Ezra Klein writes in the Prospect: "This is huge news, and the clearest evidence yet that Obama means to pursue comprehensive health reform. You don't tap the former Senate Majority Leader to run your health care bureaucracy. That's not his skill set. You tap him to get your health care plan through Congress."

Ezra argues that Obama has learned the lessons of Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful attempt to reform healthcare in 1994. Ezra's view, the Clinton plan failed because its architects were so focused on crafting the perfect policy that they neglected to figure out how they were going to sell their plan politically.

The hope is that Daschle has the political skills to actually get a healthcare plan passed.

Greg Sargent agrees that the Daschle pick is a sign that Obama intends to act quickly on healthcare.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care. Visit for a complete list of articles on healthcare affordability, healthcare laws, and healthcare controversy. And for the best progressive reporting on the ECONOMY, and IMMIGRATION, check out, Immigration.NewsLadder.net and Economy.NewsLadder.net.

This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and created by NewsLadder.

Tags: Barack Obama, cabinet, Health and Human Services, Healthcare, Healthcare NewsLadder, Obama Administration, President-Elect, The Media Consortium, Tom Daschle (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

"Your word is your bond."

That was the theme of Michelle Obama's speech at the convention.

Before his being elected, Barack Obama emphatically declared he would hire no lobbyists in his administration.  Tom Daschle is a lobbyist.  Daschle started his job at Alston & Bird in 2005 (recruited by Bob Dole, who also works at the firm) as a special adviser in the law firm's legislative and public policy group.  

from Washinton Post report (2005) of Daschle's new lobbying position:

Daschle is merely the latest high-profile former lawmaker to jump to the lucrative world of lobbying and law firm work in what has become an increasing trend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/art icles/A32604-2005Mar13.html

by moevaughn 2008-11-20 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

"Barack Obama emphatically declared he would hire no lobbyists in his administration." Where did he say that exactly? I would like to see the quote. Thanks.

by dtaylor3 2008-11-20 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

see below for response:  "no lobbyists in my white house";  (I meant to reply to your comment.)

by moevaughn 2008-11-20 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

I'm surprised you haven't heard him saying this during the campaign.  It was one of his big pushes for change.  He sometimes said lobbyists "will not work in my white house." or a slight variation with "will not find a job in my white house."  Especially after he broke his pledge on public campaign financing, the campaign said not to worry because he wouldn't have lobbyists in his administration.  Anyway, there's a clip of him saying it in this CNN report from last night:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politic s/2008/11/19/ldt.sylvester.no.spending.p inch.cnn?iref=videosearch  

by moevaughn 2008-11-20 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

I got as far as "Daschle is not a registered lobbyists" and realized that you were lying again.

Get help.

by Jess81 2008-11-20 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."
From CNN, Campbell Brown report:
http://www.cnn.com/video/?JSONLINK=/vide o/politics/2008/11/17/ec.campbell.brown. obama.lobbyists.cnn
by cameoanne 2008-11-20 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."
Here's an even better one from Kitty Pilgrim, CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politic s/2008/11/19/ldt.sylvester.no.spending.p inch.cnn?iref=videosearch
by cameoanne 2008-11-20 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

Poor bitter, bitter babies.

by Jess81 2008-11-20 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

He didn't.

And Daschle isn't a lobbyist.

And yes, Sarah Palin DID support the Bridge to Nowhere.  Sorry guys.

by Jess81 2008-11-20 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your word is your bond."

You're right. Thanks.

by dtaylor3 2008-11-21 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: no lobbyists in my white house

I'm surprised you haven't heard him saying this during the campaign.  It was one of his big pushes for change.  He sometimes said lobbyists "will not work in my white house." or a slight variation with "will not find a job in my white house."  Especially after he broke his pledge on public campaign financing, the campaign said not to worry because he wouldn't have lobbyists in his administration.  Anyway, there's a clip of him saying it in this CNN report from last night:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politic s/2008/11/19/ldt.sylvester.no.spending.p inch.cnn?iref=videosearch  

by moevaughn 2008-11-20 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: no lobbyists in my white house

Yeah: "they won't run my whitehouse" now magically turns into "I won't have any former lobbyists working in my administration".

Like the mysterious pledge to take public financing.

I feel sorry for you.

by Jess81 2008-11-20 05:34PM | 0 recs

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