Obama Bypasses Phil Bredesen for Cabinet Post


Kathleen Sebelius beats out Bredesen
  • Kathleen Sebelius beats out Bredesen
You knew it would come to this, but now it's official--or at least official under Washington's standards for very obvious leaks. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius will be named secretary of Health and Human Services on Monday.

Though Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen was talked about as a potential candidate, in the end, Sebelius seemed the far better pick. Writes the Associated Press:

Sebelius, 60, is seen as a solid choice to head HHS because as a governor responsible for the Medicaid program in Kansas, she faced the pressure of rising health care costs directly, and saw how hard it is to expand coverage, particularly in bad economic times. She is also familiar with the insurance industry, a key interest group in the health care debate. Before becoming governor, she served as insurance commissioner, and her fellow state commissioners selected her to be national president of their association.

Bredesen, by contrast, seemed a man who time had passed by. His slashing of the TennCare rolls made him Public Enemy No. 1 to the left. And though his conservatism may play well here, Democrats elsewhere viewed him as something of a caveman. He tossed out huge welfare packages for relocating companies, but seemed to balk every time aid was considered for regular people. His recent announcement that he may forgo stimulus money for unemployment likely cemented his reputation for owning a tin heart when it comes to helping the everyman.

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