November 19th, 2008
01:21 PM ET
5 years ago

Daschle the choice for Health and Human Services

Sources tell CNN Tom Daschle is Obama's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Sources tell CNN Tom Daschle is Obama's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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.


Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Jean2

    It is time to sweep the whole Clinton drama away. We have had enough. ENOUGH! ENOUGH! IS ENOUGF!

    November 19, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Gaylon Barrow

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. maya

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Joe in Austin

    Good choice. I was betting Hillary for this one.

    November 19, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Bob

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Proud to be American

    Hum I thought Hillary would be best for this position but I trust my President Elect.... great job keeping this out of the media.

    November 19, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. retreads

    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

    November 19, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Lloyd

    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).

    November 19, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. baq

    "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.

    November 19, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Tulsa

    Great choice.
    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. IM

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. SD resident

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Vegas Barbie 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.

    November 19, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Tara

    Well, who should he have picked for the position?

    November 19, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. David

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Jeremy

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. JB

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Cynthia a conservative voter

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Todd

    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!!

    November 19, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Beth

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. singe

    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.

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Vicki5

    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"

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. There's something about that kool-aid

    I know he supported Obama but he is actually qualified for this post?

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Dwight

    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

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Karen Dunlap

    Please – where is this supposed "change"

    November 19, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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