The buzz from Washington these days is all about whether Governor Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas will be tapped for the position of Health and Human Services Secretary. She is being touted as a leader for the spot.
Sibelius, as recently as December 2008, stated that she was not interested in any position in the Obama administration, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the media as naming her the most likely choice for the post. She could be an excellent candidate to help with the president’s health care agenda.
Since she threw her support toward Obama in the 2008 presidential primary over Hillary Clinton, she has been in favor with President Obama. She also acted as State of Kansas Insurance Commissioner for eight years from 1994 to 2002, during which time she earned an excellent reputation for standing up to the health insurance companies. As a current popular Democratic governor in a Republican state, she has proven her ability to garner support from both sides of the aisle.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that after a conversation with a leader of Families USA, it was understood that she would take the HHS Secretary job. Her office still has not issued any official comment on the situation, but things seem to be leaning her way.
She is the top contender for an open U.S. Senate seat on the Democratic side, and as a well liked governor with high name recognition, she likely could win the seat. The HHS position would preclude her from running in that race. And the reason she originally declined to take a position in the Obama administration back in December was because Kansas had some budget issues she needed to resolve. So will she be the choice? We’ll wait and see.