November 19th, 2008
01:21 PM ET
6 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. chelle

    Oh for heaven's sake people – Obama said he was going to change the way things are done. Never Ever did he say he was going to ditch all the experienced people he knew, in favour of people who have never seen Washington. Do you know nothing of your own government?? A complete unknown would be unable to get anything done for ages – the learning curve would be incredible!!! He is bringing people who will be able to implement the changes – not just come up with new ideas.

    November 19, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Truth Hurts

    Obama critics are steady saying that his picks don't show change. It is not about how long somebody has been in office. It is about do they share the same views, issues and policies that Obama and his backers do!! You can bring about change with younger people or older people!!

    November 19, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. No Fear

    I like that CNN is changing the language from "Czar" to point person. The Czar language comes from the monarchist GOP who promote fear as a tool. This is unneccessary and, thanks to Obama, not what is happening.

    Don't be afraid.

    November 19, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Jpck20

    Ah yes, the great 'Change' Obama promised everyone.

    Oh wait...

    November 19, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. anonymous in Big D

    Jeff – there is nothing wrong with Gardasil. That drug, like all others, may not be for everyone but it is science breakthrough and your daughters should be vacinated with it! Most smart people I know in the legal field, are taking advantage of it. Only the left morons don't want to be told anything, regardless whether its good or bad.

    November 19, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. South Dakota

    I think this is really exciting news. Being from South Dakota I have a lot of respect for our former Senator. But, I hate that the word lobbyist has so many negative connotations attached to it, because it doesn't automatically make you a bad leader. Daschle is and always has been concerned about making the best decisions for everyone, Democrat or Republican. He has also recently released a book titled "Critical: What We Can do About the Healthcare Crisis." He evaluates what has gone wrong in the past and brings new ideas to the table.

    Why must people be so quick to say this is not change? Change can only happen if new ideas are brought to light, and Daschle has new ideas. Give him a chance, and for gooness sakes, give Obama a chance. Change is not going to happen just like that, nor can he do it alone.

    November 19, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. JIMCT

    Excellent Choice!!!!

    November 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. donmcybertect

    Hey, crybabies. Let's just wait and see how this plays out. If McCain had won you would all be crowing about it but, he LOST. Now let Obama do his thing. If, and when, he messes up we can all get on him for it. The American public has spoken in all the political races. We won and now it's OUR turn! Whine when you have something to whine about. We have a lot of fixing up to do because of the mess left by the Bush administration!

    November 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Lauren

    I want some change too! I want Obama to go out and pick up any old no name for his cabinet!! Forget actually finding people with trusted experience in politics that actually could move along new policies!! Then we would have some change!!!

    Seriously...the "where's the change" people on this website are so clueless.

    November 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Jo-Ann in New York

    YOU PEOPLE NEED TO JUST CHILL.....OBAMA IS A VERY INTELLIGENT MAN...CHANGE IS THE WAY YOU GOVER...NOT SO MUCH THE PEOPLE YOU SELECT....

    JUST HOLD YOU ALL HORSES....AND WAIT & SEE....

    November 19, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. bob in LA

    Sounds like we will have a new Senate filled with inexperienced people, appointed by governors by the time Obama picks all of his cabinet.
    So much for navigating change in DC. The elder Republicans will walk all over the new guys.

    November 19, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Jan

    Not a connection to a lobbiest! Surprise and change you can believe in!

    November 19, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. grahame

    Oh Please Dominic in DC Don't you think that Dashel

    November 19, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Give the man a chance

    What do you consider change. He haven't even began work yet and already you're bashing him. The thing is with alot of you is that you're just right down mean. Even if he hire all new people there would still be a problem. With the condition of the economy who have time to go through months of training. The change is not the people it's the POLICIES!!!!!

    You would think that with so many Americans without jobs, we would want people in there who had been there and know what to do to get you guys working again and get the economy stimulated.

    Noting will ever please miserable people. Give them the world and they will still find a way to be disgruntled.

    You guys need to be more positive!!

    November 19, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Sarge in Florida

    Come on Obama you can much better in your pickings....I liked the Clintons but you promised change. We will remember you 4 years from now if you fail us....

    November 19, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Mark C

    OMG...it's started already. It's shaping up to be another Clinton Administration only with a guy named Obama running it. You think things are bad now...just you wait.

    November 19, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. David in Dallas

    I find it deeply ironic that in an article discussing Obama's new health care plan, people are crying that Daschle's appointment as head of HHS signifies a lack of change. Obama's health care plan has never been implemented before. And Daschle has never headed up HHS.

    November 19, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. tyler (portland, OR)

    Ok everyone crying "THIS ISNT CHANGE!"

    the change will be in his policy and decisions, and overall strategy.

    But in order to be effective, he has to have people who are knowledgeable, who have been in the game and know what to do.

    Did you want him to appoint a bunch of college grads from Berkley?

    hell no, he needs experienced people who can solve these problems.

    Dont judge his decisions BEFORE HE"S EVEN INAGURATED!!

    give him a chance and lets see what he can do while he's in office, then the evaluation can start.

    November 19, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Yellow Dog

    I think the president-elect is serious about getting things done; picking outsiders appears to be innovative initially, but ends up with nothing accomplished.
    Howard Dean I could also go for, but Bill Frist??? Who thunk of THAT?? He's the guy who got the federal gov.'s nose where it did not belong in the Terri Schiavo case? THAT would have been an outstandingly poor pick, even for a republican ... oh, unless you are a sore loser.

    November 19, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Debra

    So tell me again why Hillary's appointment might not happen because of conflicts of interest and is still being Vetted? But it is fine and dandy that
    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.

    All that vetting being required of the Clintons sounds kind of phony to me.

    November 19, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Travis from South Dakota

    Being from South Dakota, I am quite familiar with Daschle and am happy to see him in Obama's administration. As for past experience that would best qualify him for a certain position, Veterans Affairs would be the most logical. Daschle possess many of the best traits that I find in Obama, not highly partisian, calm demeanor, etc. Unfortunately he didn't seem to be as tough as Obama as far as his election loss to Thune, still can't believe that one.

    As for the people instantly mocking Obama's "change" message, come on. Do you expect people that have never been involved with past national politics to take top cabinet positions? It's not like Obama ran on a platform of being an outsider, he was a member of the most exclusive Washington club, the Senate, after all. The change message that Obama espoused was more subtle than appointing Ted Nugent to be Secretary of Defense.

    November 19, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Trevor

    This is scary, this is going to be the most liberal cabinet ever! Obama already has the most liberal voting record and now he's bringing in Daschle, his own state didn't even re-elect him because he was to liberal and now Obama thinks this is a good fit. Hillary, also has one of the most liberal voting records and she too will be in his cabinet. The only change he's making is wanting to be the most one sided administration ever, how will this be a bi-paritsan group? What I find funny is how all these liberal media outlets are claiming that the entire nation/world are rallying around Obama. What I don't understand about that is, he only receieve 52% of the vote!! That's only 1% more than what Bush got, I didn't see news outlets claiming everyone was rallying around him with 51%. Funny what some people are willing to believe, most of them are on this website right now. Also all these record turnouts, only about 4 million more people voted this year than in 2004.

    November 19, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. beckster

    WHO IS JOHN GALT?

    November 19, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Change

    It is an old Washinton's establishment, and there is no real change to the old old way of doing business?? That is what we are getting with an inexperienced and un-tested president, or commander-in-chief in a dangerous world. Remember 9/11, 2001, right after Bill Clinton left office in the year 2000? Will the enemies follow us home, after we withdraw our troops, under Obma's proposals??

    November 19, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. maynard hopkins wi

    tom being public advisor get OBAMA to back off on his 500 percent mark up on ammo.... AND HIS STAND ON GUNS IN AMERICA....obama is dangerous if he goes unchecked.

    November 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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