CHICAGO (CNN) - Three sources close to the transition and in a position to know tell CNN that former Sen. Tom Daschle is President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and the former Senate Majority Leader has indicated he wants the job.
Most significantly, Daschle negotiated that he will also serve as the White House health "czar" - or point person - so that he will report directly to the incoming President. The significance is this guarantees that by wearing two hats Daschle, and not White House staffers, will be writing the health care plan that Obama submits to Congress next year.
The sources said the precise timing of the announcement has not been worked out, but Daschle is likely to officially join the Obama transition team as the lead adviser on health issues in the next few weeks. An Obama transition official had no comment.
Daschle is billed as a "special public policy advisor" in the Washington office of the lobbying firm Alston Bird, though he is technically not a federally registered lobbyist. But his wife, Linda Daschle, is a registered lobbyist at the powerful firm Baker Donelson, which does have some health clients.
With everything Hillary lately, this gets completely swept under everyones nose. Got to hand it to the Obama camp for keeping a lid on this.
Tread carefully...while this is much better than appointing a pharmeceutical or health insurance industry executive to the position, we must, at all costs, avoid conflicets of interest in this area (really, in all areas).
The inappropriate cabinet appointments of the Bush administration have brought terrible consequences in many areas. The FDA, for example, should not be in place to ensure food corporations can ignore safety issues, leading to higher profits and food poisoning outbreaks, nor should they be encouraging unsafe, forced immunization programs, such as Gardasil.
An excellent choice... looks like his wife just lost her job and is going to have to find something else to do besides lobbying.
She would have been able to keep her job in the Bush Administration, but Obama's going to do things a little bit different with his administration. You think???
Conflict of interest if he is working for a lobbiest group and his wife is a lobbiest.
Again (change he is not liviing up to)
He said lobbiests would not have any part of his white house
This is the first pick that I have misgivings over.
Daschle has enemies, and he's not specifically qualified in any special way... so why deal with the political baggage of the ultra-partisan '90s without any special qualifications?
He's just a politician.
I'm not trying to fuel any of the anti-Obama gas-baggery that goes on in these forums, but I do disagree with this pick.
Still am not seeing change....
This indicates to me that Obama is serious about the health insurance reform agenda. He will need a heavy hitter at HHS if that is going to get done.
Whewww! How much change can we stand!
Now that's CHANGE WE CAN BELEIVE IN........
Yeah, this is the change the American people wanted...
Obama is a phoney!
As a Democrat who voted for Obama I am a bit confused. Where is the change? So far evey appointment is either a former Clinton administrator or a Washington insider.
Predident-elect Obama please don't lose the vision thing, people wanted change, that is why they voted for you.
this is starting to get VERY SCARY now, and barry obama is still not in office...
expected more from The Messiah
So much for change. Guess how many lobbist Obama has hired on his staff? If your answer was, "more than any other presidenr elect to-date" you are correct. Let see how many still admit to voting for Obama in a year or two.
Hey Jeff. Campaign's over. You guys lost. You can stop making up crap now!
Having people who know Washington in the Obama administration is a good thing. I just hope Obama doesn't ever send Daschle to negotiate anything important.
I know he is the former Senater Majority Leader and I was disappointed when he lost his seat. But what are his HHS credentials? You kind of left that out.
Howard Dean would have been a much better choice for this position. Plus, he's actually credentialled as a healthcare professional, not a typical lobbyist pol. This is disappointing, again.
Not a conflict of interest. All ties with Lobbyist will have to be cut off now that he will be part of the cabinet. Because of his experience in the field, this would be a smart choice.
Wow, Daschle is a horrible choice.
Mr. Daschle is an Obama mentor who brings plenty of heft to the healthcare debate. This is a great choice that bodes well for the progress we need to make progress on the healthcare front.
They missed a great opportunity in former governor (of Oregon) John Kitzhaber. A physician, a key architect of the Oregon Health Plan, a tireless advocate for health care reform, and he has executive experience. Don't want to second guess the 'bamster, but Kitzhaber could have brought real change to the health care landscape.
That means Hillary got the job of sec of State!
Change??? What Change??? It's Clinton all over again people. We Chicagoans tried to warn you about Obama....now we have to deal with the voters' mistake for 4 years. THANKS.
Wonder how long before the media actually (and accurately) covers Daschle's history of lobbying? My guess is never.