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.
It is time to sweep the whole Clinton drama away. We have had enough. ENOUGH! ENOUGH! IS ENOUGF!
What a pitifful, pitiful choice. Just when OBAMA shows he may be on the right track to make a halway President he does a flip-flop and lands on his belly with a choice such as Dashle.
Okay Obama- I'm seeing lots and lots of MEN in the top cabinet positions. You had better pick Hillary for SoS- no excuses! Show us that diversity.
Good choice. I was betting Hillary for this one.
Everyone pay attention, this is the "change" you voted for – more of the same old Washington. The same people controlling government, getting rich while the rest of us suffer. Obama you are not the change we need, you are more of the same. So to all you Obamaites – hope you are paying attention, you deserve what you got.
Hum I thought Hillary would be best for this position but I trust my President Elect.... great job keeping this out of the media.
Wow – flashback to the 90's – minus the internet boom to pay for all this junk – But it is funny how 50+ million got tricked into voting for this guy.... suckers.. ..LOL
Carl, no chance- BHO is no different from the rest of the idiots in Wahington- absolute power corrupts absolutely (for Biden fans, I confess that is a direct quote from someone).
"Still not seeing change"???????
You are seeing a non-white male president choosing his cabinet. That's a big change right there. Not that the white male president were not doing a good job. But nevertheless, it's a change.
His wife will have to get out of the lobbying firm. But as some have said here before, if you want the most qualified people, you are going to have some, or most, that will have been involved in lobbying.
At least I'm confident that Daschle is one who has the good of the nation in mind, not the enrichment of himself or the pharmaceutical or insurance companies.
Are you people going to scream "where's the change?" at each appointment? Do you just have the words cut ready to paste each time?
The change will come with his policies, his leadership skills and when he actually becomes President. But of course some of you don't want to wait around to see what change he actually brings, you want to jump on every tid-bit of information that comes out so you can act all superior and smug.
Daschle is from my hometown in SD. I'm disappointed in this selection as he has NO qualifications. I think I can speak more to this than anyone on here. I however did vote for Obama.
Good grief, all these people who say that Obama is not about change if he appoints anyone with a semblance of experience are just sore sports. It's not as if by change he meant, "let's get people in here who know nothing of how government should or could work or has worked. Face it, folks, after the Bush years, a change of staff is the first order of business and I for one, am happy to see Obama appointing individuals who have operated with integrity in former posts or positions. Change does not have to mean "all those with no experience please apply", I think DIFFERENT experience is what it's about now.
Well, who should he have picked for the position?
Oh my gosh, enough with the campaign's over, you lost, Frank. Like no one can say anything contrary. We have that freedom afforded by the Constitution.
What's most concerning about this is Tom Daschle doesn't even have a background in Health or Human Services. His degree was in Political Science. His history rarely touches the fringes of anything that he's been appointed to. The lobbying ties doesn't surprise me. Pres. Elect Obama is a wonderful speaker, no substance or action, though. Wonder if people will start getting out of the nostalgic demeanor they are in soon and realize how things are starting to unfold.
I'm from SD. I know Tom Daschle. He has worked tirelessly for veterans healthcare and knows the problems that are inherent in the industry. This job is a perfect fit.
I am a conservative who voted for Obama for change and all I see is a bunch of recycled Democrats being picked. What's it pay back time. You dissappoint me Mr. Obama.
Change comes in the form of policy changes....not the people.
Would you have preferred that Obama pick people off the street? Clinton had some of the best and brightest in his administration. Since he was the first Dem President since Carter...it would be VERY hard for Obama not to pick some of his former staffers. Think about it!!
Give the man a chance...SHEESH!!
Where is the new blood as promised? Starting to think maybe I did get suckered here. Not very happy – WE WANT THE CHANGE not just the old democrats out of a job – they were no better than the rupubs in now.
I think the nation is wise to go with smart this time instead of stupid. Stupid didn't work out that well over the past eight years. Guys like Daschle can hit the ground running at full speed and get things done before bush even gets his pony and cart out of the barn to go around the "ranch" collecting returnable beer bottles.
For the people who keep saying, "how is this change", I say, "for crying out loud, he has to draw on people who are experienced, and the Clinton era is where many of these expereinced people got their experience" because that was the last democratic presidency. "duh"
I know he supported Obama but he is actually qualified for this post?
What does everyone mean that say just because Obama chose these people their asking where is the change? Look Obama is the one calling the shots, it doesn't matter who he picks because he is the boss, he is the one that make the final decisions, not his cabinet members
Please – where is this supposed "change"