March 3rd, 2009
11:30 AM ET
9 years ago

Will Sebelius be a bipartisan force for Obama?

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is said to have a great personal relationship with President Obama.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is said to have a great personal relationship with President Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' experience working with both Democrats and Republicans in her home state could be an asset to President Obama as he embarks on an effort at bipartisanship in reforming health care.

Obama on Monday nominated Sebelius to be his health and human services secretary.

Sebelius is a two-term Democratic governor in a Republican-leaning state. She previously served as a state insurance commissioner and oversaw Kansas' Medicaid program.

In a show of her bipartisan appeal, Republican governors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Jon Huntsman of Utah commended her selection.

Schwarzenegger said Sebelius "has a well-earned reputation of working across the political aisle," and Huntsman called the appointment "a welcome announcement."

Republicans from Sebelius' home state also threw their support behind the governor.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, and Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, attended the announcement at the White House on Monday.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback released a statement with Roberts congratulating Sebelius and expressing an eagerness to work with their fellow Kansan on health issues.

But Brownback and Roberts came under criticism from some Republicans because they oppose abortion while Sebelius supports a woman's right to choose.

Brownback, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination, is considered one of the leading anti-abortion voices in the Senate.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. gary, gpp

    Almost a milf ?

    March 3, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Emma, San Jose

    She has helped some of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" (Thomas Frank).

    March 3, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. JJ12345

    Too bad she didnt have a strong relationship with the people of her state.

    March 3, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Citizen KV

    I would be more worried if she was staunch pro-life, abstinence only education, legal injunctions to stop abortions kind of nominee. Do I, as a woman, want the government telling me what to do? NO! Thank goodness Obama chose someone that will be able to make decisions about health without sending us back in time.

    March 3, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    I think she will do a wonderful job.

    March 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |