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. Bubba

    The difference is who's in charge. Anybody but Bush. We can't possibly do worse. You want to see change we can believe in? Wait until Bush signs off on Libby's pardon, jumps on the helicopter, and leaves.

    November 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. bernj

    Good pick in my opinion.

    Change will be very clear come January. The change is in the decisions and that they will be made by President Obama. These other folks are mere instruments of change. Important to get good folks and he is doing that.

    November 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Liberal

    "No wonder 55+ Million Americans did NOT vote for Obama."

    And looking at your Republican Party over the last 8 years, no wonder why 58 Million voted for Obama.. You republicans are only scared because alot of your cozy lobby jobs, and special interest money is going to dry up. Go out and find some real jobs and stop taking my taxes, you leeches...

    November 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    When the Republicans harken to the good old days, they look back to Reagan.

    When the Democrats do it, they look back to Clinton.

    Sounds like it makes sense to me.

    November 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. arlene, CA

    Seems like a good choce. But, Is he a lobbiest? or ties to lobbiests?

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Matt

    All you people complaining that this isn't change need to make a suggestion that is change. Don't have one? Thot so. The reality is, people who have been around DC for a while are going to have the best skill set for the jobs and none of you know a single name that would be better.

    FACT: You'd complain if he appointed all republicans, all democrats, or a mixture of republicans, democrats, smurfs, and keebler elves.

    Get a life.

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    To those of you who are obviously fans of trolling these comment boards (i.e. matt, jeff, ck), get a life, and an education. With this appointment all lobbyist ties would be legally broken between both him and his wife.

    If you were ever to chose to education yourselves before posting incessantly, you could read Sen. Daschle's book on Health Care Reform to see where he stands and his experience with the matter. In addition to that, part of being able to get things done in congress is holding sway, which you receive after years of experience and being held in high regard. Daschle was the majority leader of the senate and across the aisle is held in tremendous esteem. While I think there are a number of people who would work well under this appointment, I simply wanted to point out that this is the problem with America; people refuse to educate themselves to a sixth grade level before commenting on subjects they know nothing about.

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Alexander

    I am ok with this. Tom Daschle is not bad, granted he is another Washington Insider, but I respect the man. However, I do find him to be a little TOO liberal, and steering HHS that worries me that he'll be a SPEND SPEND SPEND person, when we need to re-evaulate our healthcare system.

    Interesting choice. But I agree, I am waiting for the "change"...hopefully it will be the policies, because thus far, the cabinet is looking pretty SAME.

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Bob from NC

    Brilliant Choice. Change is not in the personnel, it is in the policy. I suppose all you disgruntled folks on both sides would prefer a group of no nothing Washington outsiders to blunder their way around for two years getting their OTJ training at the taxpayers expense. No way. This team will hit the ground running.

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. anotherview

    I suppose by picking all these insiders Obama feels he can more efficiently bring us the " Change We Can Believe In".

    Why is this shaping up to look like all the previous adminstrations we have had? A bunch of good ole boys who have been members of the club for decades.

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Changing Times

    TO Matt: Wow, what twilight zone are you coming out of. First of all President-Elect Obama hasn't smoke "multiple packs" of cigs in I don't know how long. The individuals on this blog commenting are hilarious. He hasn't even taken office. And, he has only announced may 3-4 major choices and you are all screaming about the change issue. I'm sure all you nay sayers have so much better choices in mind. It is so easy for you to sit on the sidelines and call the shots and then when it doesn't turn out the way you think... you are also the first ones, jumping up .... I told you so, I told you so..... Why don't you all try being part of a solution instead of the problem. Why not show a little respect and respect for his judgement and ACTUALLY give him a chance to take office and start implementing his agenda and policies before you jump all over him. My consensus from listening to you all rant is that you probably sit on your couch on Sundays and scream at the TV and the call the coaches of the football teams idiots BECAUSE if you were coaching they would for sure win the game and make so much better choices than they are doing. GROW UP

    November 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Grady Mooney

    I remember Daschle's service in Washington. He became so unpopular even in his own state, that he lost the election. Daschle is a "no" man. This is a bad choice for any office in DC.

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Retired Army in San Antonio

    I laugh at all the people out there who thinks that the change that Obama promised, means that he must absolutely exclude all people with links to Washington, the Clintons, etc.

    I mean really; who would you rather he put on his staff.....competent people WITH experience.......or untested / inexperienced people of questionable what Bush did (his FEMA head was a show horse trainer / judge.....).

    I'm just sayin'.........

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Celeste

    Some of you bloggers are quite naive. Bringing change to Washington DOES NOT MEAN eliminating the people best suited for the appointments. And if that means getting people with the experience and qualification of the ins and outs of Washington, then I support Pre-Elect Obama 100%. Change does not simply mean getting all fresh faces and new blood. Change is getting the right people in order to accomplish the goals and establish policies as well as working with people who share the vision of where the administration wishes to take the country. You cannot 'throw out the baby with the bathwater'. Be real. I suspect that most of you are Republicans pretending to be 'disgruntled' Democrats. Kindly hold your fire and at least wait until Barack Obama gets into the White House. Yeech!!!

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Matt

    As for the Clintons being the in the White House not being a pleasant memory for some of're the ones who didn't want them there in the first place and voted for the idiot Republicans who ran. You'd be upset no matter what Dem gets appointed, so suck it up.

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Bob

    Trevor: Daschle wasn't re-elected due to disenfranchisement in his state done by the Republicans. He's a good man. No reason for people to complain about good souls being in Obama's cabinet.

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. SBAMA

    "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?"

    LOL, I lived with your vote for the last 8 years, look how well that worked out!

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Why????

    It is President-elect Obama polices you fools. You don't think these people would accept a job where change will not be made. How quietly have you forget about the crises that we are facing.

    November 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Pres. Bush

    Obama being criticized? Oh the sweet irony.

    November 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. ch

    He wanted to be Sec. of State (as did Kerry and Richardson) but Hillary outshone them all.

    She will be magnificent – and because she is Hillary Clinton, nobody really cares about any of these other appointments.

    November 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Archie H.

    Cheez what a dumb super liberal pick !!

    November 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Michelle

    Considering the current state of the country, we do not have time for "on the job training". We need people who have been there and know how to do the work. You hire for experience and not just for capabilities. Obama brings a new perspective but he needs to surround himself with people who know how to get the work done. We are in a very bad place right now in our economy and we need experience. If that means some Clinton people stepping up to take on new roles, I'm okay with that for the first 4 years so that we can get this buget deficit down. Clinton did manage to do that. Did Regan or any other president? I think not.

    November 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. TangoDancer

    The "change" is a philosophical change. Regardless of the personnel who fill these positions who are mostly established Washington types; the change that Obama promised and will deliver is change in governing philosphy and the direction of this nation. This change will occur.

    The people that Obama is selecting/reviewing for these positions are all competent and intelligent people. This is change that I can believe in. I'm happy. Republican supporters have been completely side-lined to the cheap seats throwing tomatoes. They no longer have the ability to affect policy in this nation, so they're reduced to child-like behavior of criticizing Obama for whatever and anything but that is all that they have left. Enjoy you're exile GOP/Republicans/Conservatives. I'm loving it.

    November 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Barbara in NC

    All you complainers. We had to put up with your rotten choice (Bush) for 8 years.

    Shut up until our guy is at least in office for 6 months to a year.

    Babies. Quit whining.

    November 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Val from MA

    In Obama's own words throughout his campaign:

    “They [lobbyists] won’t work in my White House!” Obama has said repeatedly.

    “They are not going to dominate my White House,” Obama said at a rally in this town northeast of Des Moines.

    “They are not going to run my White House,” Obama said in New Hampton. “And they won’t drown out the voices of the American people.”

    “You will not be able to go lobby for an industry that you regulated, and I won’t hire somebody into my administration regulating the industry he or she worked for,” Obama said.

    Hmmm... Looks like we are seeing the complete opposite of what he promised American people. To appoint Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services whose wife is a REGISTERED LOBBYIST at the Baker Donelson which serves health clients is beyond my own disbelief.

    Folks, this is truly a change we were expecting from Obama and we don't have to believe in it anymore, we see it with our own eyes.

    November 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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