Few noticed but at last week’s Rose Garden announcement by the president that his administration’s signature healthcare initiative had exceeded seven million signups by the end of March, he failed to mention Kathleen Sebelius’ name even though she was sitting right in front of him. On Thursday Sebelius made it official: She is leaving her post as head of Health and Human Services.
More than a month earlier Sebelius had approached the president to discuss her future now that the worst of the ObamaCare signup fiasco appeared to be behind her. Publicly, the president had been supportive of her ever since he nominated her to the head of Health and Human Services at the start of his first administration. Privately, however, he was furious over the botched roll-out, and according to White House aides, blamed Sebelius for most of it.
As the president’s concerns continued to grow about the damage his signature legislative achievement is likely to do to his legacy, not to mention the fallout likely in November as Americans increasingly discover the real costs of the program hitting their wallets, it was time for a change.
When Obama nominated her to head up HHS in 2009, Sebelius was the fair-haired child. Daughter of a former Ohio Democrat governor, she moved to Kansas in 1974 where she learned the political ropes early. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 and won three more reelections despite her pro-abortion, anti-gun stances. She even overcame being sullied by revelations that she had received substantial campaign contributions from notorious abortionist George Tiller, who was later gunned down in his church.
Politically, she made all the right moves, serving as Kansas’ governor from 2003 to 2009, resulting in the New York Times deeming her to be among the women most likely to become the first female president of the United States. After announcing her support for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton during the president’s first run for the White House and then delivering the Kansas delegation for him, her nomination was an easy choice for the president to make once he was in office.
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