Posted by Brad @ 9:42 pm on February 28th 2009

Sebelius at HHS

Can’t help but think that that’s bad news for Kansas. It means that Sam Brownback may well win the governor’s mansion in 2010, and his Senate seat will almost certainly stay red.

We shall see.

9 Comments »

  1. Brownback was probably going to be Governor in any case. Mark Parkinson will have about eighteen months of incumbency, and I don’t see that being enough to derail Brownback…especially given the likelihood that the Democratic party is going to own the economy by then.

    The Senate seat is more intriguing. Sebelius was probably an even-money bet against Jerry Moran. I can’t even speculate as to who the Dems will put up for the seat now. Dennis Moore would be their only realistic shot.

    Comment by Rojas — 3/1/2009 @ 12:33 am

  2. Where’s howard dean these days?

    Comment by thimbles — 3/1/2009 @ 11:56 pm

  3. For about a week there were some rumblings that he would get the position; my own sense is that it was Sebelius’ if she really wanted it, but that wasn’t necessarily (or at all) a given. My guess is both she and the administration (and backroom Democrats) were really weighing (even pushing) a Senate run, but something must have tilted her towards the cabinet.

    Last I heard Howard Dean handle the “what now” question, he says he’s basically going to hit the private sector, do a lot of speaking engagements, that kind of thing.

    Comment by Brad — 3/2/2009 @ 12:04 am

  4. HHS was a certainty and a pathway to national electoral opportunities if the Obama health care plan proves a political winner. The Senate run was a 50-50 shot at best. This was the smart play.

    Comment by Rojas — 3/2/2009 @ 12:31 am

  5. My impression has always been that the national pathways available to Kathleen are limited at best. She’s 61 now—she’ll be 68 in 2016. Perhaps not too old, but starting to climb into that territory, and my hunch is that national election prominence becomes more difficult for a woman as she gets elderly than for a man.

    So, it’s a chance-payoff calculation. 50-50 shot for Senate, but if you succeed, a very good chance that it’s a position for life (running for reelection is a helluva lot easier than running for President). 100% chance at HHS if she wanted it, but by taking it she runs perhaps an even shot of being able to run or be tapped in 2016, with a much-less-than-even shot of succeeding.

    Comment by Brad — 3/2/2009 @ 12:35 am

  6. Of course, as a Cabinet official, my guess is she’s first in line for the Vice Presidency should anything happen to Biden, assuming her tenure goes well (and they had a chance to plan a succession).

    Comment by Brad — 3/2/2009 @ 12:37 am

  7. There’s also, of course, the possibility that she relishes the opportunity to be the principal architecht of a permanent national health care plan.

    Comment by Rojas — 3/2/2009 @ 1:11 am

  8. Well, there’s also the question as to whether or not she’ll actually have that in her portfolio. By most accounts, that was something that was pretty unique to Daschle (he negotiated for it), and Marc Ambinder and others guessed that that probably doesn’t carry over to anybody else. Not that she won’t play an integral role, but that she won’t be invited to essentially author it, more to administer it.

    Comment by Brad — 3/2/2009 @ 1:22 am

  9. For about a week there were some rumblings that he would get the position; my own sense is that it was Sebelius’ if she really wanted it, but that wasn’t necessarily (or at all) a given. My guess is both she and the administration (and backroom Democrats) were really weighing (even pushing) a Senate run, but something must have tilted her towards the cabinet.

    I had heard somewhere else, but can’t remember where, that Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean really don’t get on. I would imagine that wouldn’t have helped Dean any (assuming it’s true).

    I like Dean, actually, but a fair amount of his party apparently doesn’t seem to like him.

    Comment by Adam — 3/2/2009 @ 4:29 am

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