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. The Colonel

    Looking at all of Obama's choices to date I guess we know who pushed him up the ladder and who he owes......hopefully Howard Dean didn't pitch in and help...what a pathetic cruel joke on all the wishful thinking rubes that voted for Obama.

    November 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Charles Atlanta

    I think Daschle can be a good fit. The position needs to be a leader to define policies working for general public.

    November 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Chip

    i thought Jocelyn Elders would get the call for this one.

    Obama's plan to get rid of the lobbyists in Washington? Put all of them in his cabinet.

    November 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Sara from Arizona

    More Clinton retreads.

    November 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. grahame

    Oh Please Dominic in DC
    Don't you think that Daschle just might talk to Bill Fisk. Government is not something like the evil emperor in star wars making decisions in a locked room without consultation. Suggest you study how governments work before making your silly pronouncements

    November 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I'm getting tired of these leaks! If Obama can't trust the "talkers" surrounding his transition team, he needs to fire them all and hire some new ones.

    November 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. j

    Political appointments never seem to make any sense. I'm still waiting for "the change we can believe in".

    November 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Hayden

    What an awful choice. The man is a quasi lobbyist married to a lobbyist who has some health related clients. It's nice to know that Daschle and John Ashcroft have something in common – they were both rejected by the voters of their state, granted Daschle actually lost to a living person.

    November 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Elle

    This isn't the Surgeon General position. Hospital administrators aren't doctors–this is an administrative position and Daschle is a great choice. If Obama had picked someone we'd never heard of people would be complaining about lack of experience vs. lack of change. The change is in the fact that Daschle will lead the fight for a new healthcare plan that benefits the people, not the big insurance companies and pharmaceutical giants.

    November 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. You Idiots!!

    Obama won the Presidency by running his campaign like no other politician has ever done. Explain to me what makes any of you idiots an expert on who he should pick in his cabinet. You have no clue therefore just sit back and shut up and the man do what he is elected to do. Im sure most of you were the ones who said that he couldnt win without Hillary – see how that worked out for you? Obama is putting together a cabinet that is going to work to make his agenda happen. He is he leader of the change movement – therefore he needs people that are gonna be on board with him. Clinton and Bush picked a bunch of people who were wet behind the ears and brought them to Washington – how did that work out for them? Not so well.

    November 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. WordsMatter

    Daschle is the perfect choice for Obama's plan to implement socialism through universal healthcare. It makes complete sense. Daschle is a committed leftist when it comes to socialized medicine.

    November 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. john

    After the disatrous picks of George W. Bush for his cabinet, I don't think Republicans have any right to criticize any picks Obama makes for his cabinet.

    November 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Howard

    Appointing a doctor the post is not necessarily a wise move. Especially a conservative doctor like Bill Frist. Change will be that the 47 million people that are uninsured get coverage, and that people who are covered do not have to face bankruptcy or financial ruin when they have a health problem. Who care who he has in there to achieve the goals!!. Daschle has shown he can get thing done in the past. Daschle can hire experts to help him.
    Obama is a smart guy, much smarter than the traitor we have had at the helm for the last 8 years when absolutely nothing has been done. I don't think a smart guy would pick someone who couldn't do the job. Let's do all we can personally to help the president and his administration succeed. After all ,both Republicans and Democrats want good affordable healthcare. I don't care who give it to me.

    November 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Lani in Los Angeles

    Everybody is a critic. I guess he'd have to have a cabinet full of republicans to demonstrate the change critics want to see.

    You guys have not been elected president. So stop with your self-righteous judgements as if you could have been elected yourselves.

    November 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Bill

    okay.. big Obama supporter here. What is going on with the cabinet. All we heard was Bipartisanship. Not yet have we heard one non liberal appointee, He promised he would govern to the center, why not reach out an put a couple of republican names out there for some posts?

    November 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I think Howard Dean actually would be a better fit here, but if Tom D. is up for it, I am ready to support him. Howard is an actual MD with experience (plus he did one heck of an operation dissecting the GOP).

    November 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    Frist was the guy who said he could "see" Terri Schiavo had conscious brain function just by looking at her on a videotape.

    Obama does not need partisan wrangling. He needs a team that can hit the ground running. Remember when Clinton brought in a whole bunch of fresh faces and the right wingers foamed that they did not know what they were doing?

    Read what the articles say--it's about a change in policy. The way things are done. I would rather have some smart experienced people in there who can run in the right circles and get things DONE!
    But I know you right wingers will nitpick at pretty much anything you can come up with.

    November 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Tired

    Carole said, 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.

    You think the Dems should try health care reform with a Washington outsider again? Sorry, been there, done that, and Hillary has the scars to prove it.

    Personally, I don't care to see another health care reform flop. Obama was wise to pick a powerful and experienced politician to take the lead on this.

    November 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. miz

    I was never a die-hard Obama fan,but I wasn't for McCain, either. But his hiring Tom Daschle just shows to me that Obama is in all of this for the betterment of the country. Tom Daschle is a great, honest man.

    Not only that, but I'm jazzed that this leads a good opportunity for Daschle to perhaps run for pres himself one day.

    November 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Faith Restored

    The whinning on here is deafining. Oh yea of little faith but a lot of negativity, sarcasim and pessimissm. LOL If you didn't put Bush in office then sit back and wait to see what this mosaic or politicians will bring to the table THIS TIME irregardless of whose administration they worked for previously. If you did vote for Bush then STHU because you are the last ones to point fingers of accusations based on how we are on the brink of becoming a 3rd world nation while still under Bush's watch. Don't forget..PE isn't president YET so the mess you are living through right now is the Bush cesspool and arrogantly ingnorant way of governing. Anything oppsite of THAT is change in my book.

    November 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. This is a joke I miss GWB already

    This man has shown time and time again a questionable judgment when he chooses those closest to him. There is no change here. The ones who say change is in how you govern don't understand how the Government works. He is not a King, his Secretaries and staff make a lot of the decisions. We have all been hood winked!

    November 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. txmeme2many

    Obama supporters, you are right. The election is over. Now about
    55 million of us are going to have to live with your votes for the next four years. The Clintons in the White House is not a pleasant memory for some of us. Are we in for a big "change" or a big
    deja vul?

    November 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. va


    November 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. JD

    Yet another case of "Change we can be deceived in". At least it wasn't another in the long line of Clinton-era retreads. Please, Great Obama, spread your pixie dust and save us from ourselves!

    November 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Huh?

    All you Bush haters need to be more positive!

    November 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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