James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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No surprise; Obama picks second-best to lead HHS

Posted by James McPherson on February 28, 2009

Barack Obama has tabbed Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the new director of Health and Human Services. That’s no surprise, of course: It would have been more surprising at this point if he had chosen the best person for the job.

I suspect Sebelius will do a decent job, and she has a credible health care-related background. She also adds a bit more diversity to the Cabinet.

Still, I am sorry that Obama and his advisors weren’t willing to overcome their dislike of the man perhaps most responsible for Obama’s election, and the one probably most qualified to head HHS–Howard Dean.

Next-day update: Dean, who admits that he would have liked to have led HHS, on Sebelius: “I think she will be very good. She is a very nice person and I think she will be fine.”

Uh-oh–if a buddy gave you an endorsement like that about a prospective blind date, you’d run away.

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