November 19th, 2008
01:21 PM ET
9 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. Mobius

    Wonderful! A man not even the VOTERS wanted!

    Diggin all this, um, Change.

    November 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Purple Nurple

    Why is my man Obama picking an ex senator as the health and human servises guy.......I am sure he could of done better at this pick. Lost 2 bucks in the office pool for high cabniet picks.....dang it Obama!!

    November 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. dickt

    Just the fact that we will have a president who can speak in full sentences if a big change in itself!

    November 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    This is Change We Can Believe In?

    So far I have been very disappointed in the President-elect's choices. Lots of old hats.

    Eric Holder has a lot more issues than just Mark Rich. His role in renewing the Patriot Act and related issues around 911 make me wonder just how hard the new Prez is looking for new people.

    Senator Daschle is a good guy, I am sure, but I don't see him carrying the day for health care reform.

    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. David

    I can't believe Obama is appointing all these Washington insiders and ex-Clinton people. He should be appointing people with no experience and no knowledge of how Washington works, like Bush did. Surely there is an Arabian Horse trainer out there who could be HHS secretary. And Clinton! Ugh. Yes, he oversaw the greatest post war economic expansion, but still. We should give change a chance. Lets get some inexperienced people in there and hope the economy does swell.

    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Truth Hurts

    No matter who Obama picks for different posts, people will criticize. I think Obama team will be diverse with race, party and issues. And it is very hard to hire somebody with a squeaky clean record, or somebody not tied to a lobbyist. The key thing is implementing good policies, check and balances and keep out corruption!! I believe some people want to see Obama fail. But if he did fail, which I believe he won't, everybody will suffer!! Just like we are suffering now behind Bush failed administration and policies!!

    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |

    Those who are against Obama will not like any choice. He he even thought of appointing someone with no washington experience his naysayers would be up in arms as they were with him because of his lack of experience. We need smart people who know what they are doing. And almost all politicians or those who work in washington at some time lobbied.

    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. b

    All the Clinton era appoinments make Obama look like an insecure kinda guy. He can't find enough friends of his own? The change will come when these people move our country away from anything we will reconize to looking like a European country with tax payers having to foot the bill for all kinds of weird and questionable social policy. 57,000,000 people voted against this type of govening.

    November 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Kay Plantes

    Where is the executive experience that might enable us to save money to invest in things that enhance American competitiveness? I thought Biden brought the legislative experience. We need a third senator?

    November 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Mike

    Obama has to pick a cabinet that knows what its doing. In order for that kind of competence they obviously would need experience in former administrations/senate. I'm happy to see competent picks and not old college buddies.

    November 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Hambone

    Tom's ethics are above reproach. He'll do a great job.

    November 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Van

    This is a good pick.

    And for those questioning his credentials, I mean the guy has wrote a book on the issue and pushed for many Health and Human Services policies... try doing a little research past Wikipedia.

    And I don't get what kind of change you people are looking for? What do you expect Obama to do? Pick a bunch of grad students? And is the fact that his admnistration is similar to Bill Clinton's a BAD thing all of a sudden? Did I wake up in Bizarro world where Clinton's administration was somehow a failure?

    I expect Change in the country, but that doesn't mean I don't want the best people for the job to get the job.

    November 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Paul T. Langner

    Appointing Former Senator Tom Daschle to this post does not represent change. It represents more of the same old Washington. first of all he is a lobbiest. Secondly, if memory serves me correctly, he was run out of the Senate on corruption charges. So where is the Change?

    November 19, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Ben in Texas

    Change is about policies and ideas, not people. Duh. You want experienced insiders who know how things work to help get the new ideas enacted. Do you really think that Daschle and Hillary are being hired to make their own agenda? They're going to do what Obama wants in ways that they know will work. If they disagree, Obama will listen, but he's "the decider".

    November 19, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Maggie from Virginia

    Obama knows what's best. I have total confidence in his decisions.

    November 19, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. justathought

    Did you expect for Obama to bring in "folks" that have never set foot in Washington to help bring the CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?!? New policies bring change and a smart President will put "folks" in the right place who can facilitate the "change" he intends to bring about during his administration. You have to have some of both – those who know how the Washington game is played, and those who don't but are still "players" nonetheless. BTW, the "change" everyone is so anxious to see won't be fully realized until after Obama leaves in 2016 – so find something to do in the meantime.

    November 19, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. nobody

    There is nothing to complain or worry about. Change just means doing things differently. You don't always need new faces to change the way things are done. The policies need to change not neccesarily all the people involved. Often when changing anything, the leader will need familiar faces or insiders to to help push the change policies through.

    November 19, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Maya

    With two wars and bad economy, Obama needs people with experiance to get things done. Once the economy is fixed and he gains some necessary experiance, Obama might bring fresh faces. I am relieved because I know that this country will transition smoothly. Obama is a wise man.

    November 19, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. FYA

    Good choice. I believe he will look out for our health care interests, especially those of senior citizens.

    If you belly achers would stop whining about "where's the change?" long enough, you might realize that the change is to get this country back in order. Like it or not, it was during the Clinton years. If the President – elect is calling upon people from that time frame who fought for we the people, good for him. The house cleaning will be able to begin the day Obama takes office. He's a smart man, surrounding himself with smart people who are willing to work together for our country's best interests. Shut up and give him a chance.

    November 19, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Eli

    Frist? You must be joking. That guy forgot the meaning of "Do No Harm" long ago.

    Daschle is perfect .

    November 19, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. hsl

    Does nothing please you folks?
    Let's give this a chance and yes we can take time for chance if we are going to obtain change.

    November 19, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Don Fitzgerald

    Fantastic appointment !! Former Senator Daschle will make an excellent choice for Health and Human Services. You can't beat experience, especially when you want to re-route a bureaucracy, from the incompetent, which it has been for the last 8 years, to the competent, which it will become, again, under the leadership of a great America.
    Another great choice for President-elect Obama. There's some change, a-comin !!! Enjoy it America, it beats, having to save the hides of the Bush-McCain Republicans, at every turn.

    November 19, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Bev

    I'm not impressed. Any connection with a lobbying group is a bad connection – especially if that lobbying group represents the health care INDUSTRY. This really is beginning to look like business as usual. I don't think McCain would have done any better, but let's just hope those who know, know far more that the gut reaction of the public so far.

    November 19, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Lizknh

    I was definitely hoping that Howard Dean would be named Secretary of HHS. He's an MD, knows the health care field inside and out, worked on many health initiatives as Governor of VT, and helped Obama win with his 50-state strategy.

    November 19, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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