November 19th, 2008
01:21 PM ET
10 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. Matt

    I've read so many posts on cnn from people who applaud these choices by Obama. These are the same people who would respond with the word "change" when asked why they were voting for him. These are the same people who probably could not cite his stances on three core issues, but were caught up in his dream of "change". Truly remarkable. Almost as remarkable as Obama being on the cover of Men's Fitness, even though he smokes multiple packs of cigarettes a day. Yup, that's fitness you can believe in!!

    November 19, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. mjc

    The Rush /Hannity fans will be critical of Obama's choices no matter who he picks.

    November 19, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. MZBH

    The 'change' is going to be over the sorts of policies he implements. One can hardly demand that the POTUS only hire 'wet behind the ears' types to help him govern.

    In the end this is only going to be about what policies he pushes forward and what agenda he chooses to implement, not who he choose to push that agenda through.

    November 19, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Michael -Ventura,CA


    November 19, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Molly

    Man...I'm a huge Obama supporter, but I'm becoming more and more disappointed with each position annoucement. There are plenty of experinced and talented people outside of Washington to use and he keeps picking all these Clinton/DNC retreads! What gives President Obama?

    November 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Bob

    Looks like Bill and Hillary won afterall and their Obama puppet is dancing on cue. What a mockery of "change and diversity".

    November 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Christy C.

    Wonderful. Another joker heading HSS that is not a doctor, who knows nothing about healthcare, and is a career politician. So much for CHANGE!

    November 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Carole

    Real "Change" there Obama. Way to go picking the bigest morons of the Democratic establishment. First Biden, now big Daschle. Obama doesn't appear to be about "change" but more about the same old politics of the democratic party. No wonder 55+ Million Americans did NOT vote for Obama.

    November 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Great choice. Daschle knows how to work in a bipartisan spirit to get bills through Congress.

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Domenic. from Washington, DC

    Can anyone name or idendtiy what Former Senate majority leadaer Daschel has in the way of experience in Health care?? Oh wait, that's right, this is not the year where "experience" matters...SO much for CHANGE...Looks like we have the Clinton Adm back in washington drapped under the name OBAMA.... A better choice, and one that would show "UNITY" would have been Former TN Senator Bill Frist.. He is actually a DOCTOR and is much more qualified then Daschel...

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. pottsm

    Daschle was one who opposed the medicare Rx bill that the Bush administration wanted - he was very clear on why this bill was flawed - not for the help it gave seniors, but for the gifts it gave to Drug companies and HMOs - -I am very pleased

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Andre Douglas

    His cabinet picks are excellent... The Change is still going to happen, regardless of who he has in his cabinet, they will have to coporate with the vision of the leader which is President Barack Obama. I think its great that President Obama and Vice President Biden is picking people with experience in Washington and the world of politics. So TEAM OBAMA is looking good. There still may be a place for Howard Dean, John Kerry, and possible Colin Powell. Keep watching, there are several seats that will need to be filled.

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. libdem

    Now Obama is a very far from a fool, but if he picks Daschle–who once was a great leader, but now appears to be just another freaking lobbyist– he will have taken a big step towards successfully redividing the country. I mean the only prominent democrats that are more derided from the right wing of this country are the Clintons themselves.

    One of the main problems with our health care is the control that lobbyists have over it (e.g. Big Pharma). Is Obama foolish enough to put a lobbyist in charge of fixing a problem caused in part by lobbyists? Its similar to having a wall street CEO (Hank Paulson) trying to fix a problem that he helped cause.

    Advice to Pres. Obama: Send Hank Paulson back to Wall Street immediately and don't appoint Daschle or Hilary.

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. SJC

    I have to laugh at all the posters who say "Where's the change?". They have all their knee jerk talking points lined up. If Obama had chosen a new face they would be saying "Who is this nobody?" or "We need experience not novices." But this is exactly what one expects from people who get their news and information from Rush and Fox news.

    Change occurs from "changing policy" by people who have the insight and wisdom to make it. And most of the time these people are experienced and have served in significant other capacities. Daschle is one of these people.

    November 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |

    I wish all you people moaning about change, and writing about change with quoation marks around the word change would give it a rest!

    Barack won the presidency because of a well run campaign–a campaign I helped to fund. As such, I trust his judgement. If he can run our country the way he ran the campaign we will succeed.

    He hasn't even taken office yet and some of ya'll are already complaining. The real Obama supporters feel the way I do. The rest of ya'll are posers who are just trying to create dissent as usual–probably the stupid puma retards.

    Gramm was right. We are a nation of whiners. Sheesh.

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Chris

    OKAY...I'm an Obama supporter but, I'm not seeing a lot of change here in this administration!!!

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Lisa, Saugus MA

    What Health experience does Tom Dashle have?

    I am a dem who is already becoming distressed over some of these choses. This is not the change I was lead to believe would happen under President Obama. I expected new and fresh faces from outside of the Washington scene!!

    I am fine with Hillary because she herself received 18 million votes. But Dashle and Eric Holder? Come on!

    I am already beginning to have buyer's remorse. From the comments on this blog it seems others are dismayed as well.

    Richardson will probably get Energy (another former Clintonite).

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Where's the Change??

    Oh please–is that the best he can do? Recycled Democrats from the Clinton era? Where's the change????????????

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. prairieguy


    Barack said "lobbyist would NOT RUN his WH"...get your quote right!!!

    Change will come with POLICY...Clinton brought inexperienced folks to DC in 92 and in 94 Dems lost House & Senate as his folks had no idea how DC worked....Barack is smart as he is choosing QUALIFIED & EXPEREINCED folks who will help him bring about the change he is looking to bring.

    Complainers get over it...McSlime lost!!!!!

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Jaye

    Congratulations to Tom Daschle!
    This proves to me that Hillary Clinton WILL be the Secretary Of State!

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. zack

    Although i was hoping obama would stay away from the lobbyists, his selections so far are real change. He is actually picking people capable for the job, instead of doing what Bush did and just pick incapable, yesmen.

    November 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Edie Montague

    Change is policy not PEOPLE. He has not even been sworn in and you are already on the NEGATIVE.

    November 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Aditi

    Howard Dean would have been the right person, as only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

    November 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Recovering Kool-Aid addict

    I know there must be a logical explanation for all of this, right?


    November 19, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Jon

    If people want universal health care...should have been Hillary!

    November 19, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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