Barack Obama has asked Tom Daschle to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Daschle has accepted.
According to multiple news sources, Thomas Andrews Daschle will be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services under Barack Obama’s administration. With the appointments of Eric Holder as Attorney General, Gregory Craig as White House Counsel, Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, and Hillary Clinton’s impending appointment as Secretary of State (which we reported here), it appears that Obama’s new staff resembles Clinton II: The Return of the Establishment Liberals. What happened to “Change we can believe in”? So far, in his appointments, Obama seems to be following the established Democratic party line.
As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Daschle will play in integral role in implementing one of Obama’s most ambitious campaign promises: national health care. I remember how well that went under Clinton I. Let’s see how it goes under Clinton II.
Biography of Tom Daschle
Daschle was born in 1947 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Daschle is the eldest of four brothers and grew up in a Catholic family. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1969.
After college, he served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. He then spent five years as an aide to South Dakota Senator James Abourezk.
In 1978, Daschle was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat. Daschle served four consecutive terms in the House of Representatives. In 1986, Daschle was elected to the Senate over incumbent Republican James Abdnor. He was re-elected by large margins in 1992 and 1998. As a Senator, he served on the Senate Finance Committee, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the Veterans, Indian Affairs, Finance and Ethics Committees. In 1994, he became the Democratic Minority Leader. In 2001, Daschle became the Senate Majority Leader but Democratic losses in 2002 caused Daschle to reverted to Minority Leader again in 2003.
In the 2004, Daschle lost his Senate seat in a stunning upset to Republican John Thune. This was the first time a Senate Majority leader lost his seat since 1952 when Arizona Senator Ernest McFarland lost his seat to Barry Goldwater.
Daschle endorsed Barack Obama’s candidacy for President early in 2007. He served as an advisor to Obama throughout his presidential campaign.
Daschle is married and has three children.