Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick for Health & Human Services Secy. Position?

Not since President Barack Obama’s “Pastor Pickin’ Problems” have I seen so much hubbub and dust up over the bevy of political appointees for whom April 15th is just another day in the spring.

First Timothy Geitner had his tax troubles (although got “Grandfathered in” as the first one to eff up), then New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had to drop out because of some ethic investigations back on the ranch, then Nancy Killefer withdrew her name as Chief White House Performance Officer due to her tax troubles. And now, most recently, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle dropped out of the running for Health and Human Services Secretary after his failure to pay taxes on his driver were revealed (and The New York Times put out a blistering story on his tax woes).

This is all the more amazing considering you had to get through an “exhaustive,” billion page vetting process that asked of an arm, leg and possibly, your first born, (but with a “Rumpelstiltskin” escape clause for Geitner).

But where Daschle gets all weepy and closes a door on the second act in his political career, the Governmental Gods open a window for a black state governor possibly facing a tough re-election.

No, not Playboy Paterson of New York State, but Obama BFF Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, of whom the Clintons used to charge Obama, quite pathetically, of “Great Speech Plagiarism,” as both repeated similar themes and rhetoric in their campaign speeches.

Deval, who is considering taxing just about everything from gasoline to sugar to adding highway tolls on the turnpike, is in a bit of an unpopularity pickle right now. Unemployment is up. Everyone in Massachusetts is bitching at him all the time. So folks are thinking, “Does the D-Man want a change in scenery? Like the kind with cherry blossoms in the spring time and lobbyists on every corner?”

New speculation that Gov. Deval Patrick is on the short-list for an Obama administration Cabinet post – though immediately denied by the governor – has the State House buzzing again about his commitment to the Corner Office.

“If he’s made it clear to the president that he doesn’t want to go to Washington, why does his name keep coming up?” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones (R-North Reading). “The citizens of Massachusetts now more than ever need him to be focused on the state.”

Patrick’s name was floated yesterday on a Washington Post blog as a contender for U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, replacing former Sen. Tom Daschle, who withdrew his nomination amid questions about his taxes and lobbying.

(Source: Boston Herald)

The Boston Herald is also reporting that Patrick isn’t the only name being floated about who may attempt Daschle’s aborted try. Kansas Gov. Kathleen “Lumnesta” Sebelius is in the hunt along with Missouri’s own, former House Speaker Dick Gephardt and John Podesta, Obama’s transition chief.

A few folks are pushing for former DNC chair Howard Dean, but considering Obama didn’t ask Dean to stay on as DNC chair, methinks the two aren’t each others’ biggest fana. Plus, some believe Dean would be too polarizing. (But then, they said the same about Rahm Emmanuel sooo …?)

Still, some don’t see him as controversial at all.

Maybe one of Howard’s biggest faults is that he is simply too nice. Dean dislikes the pettiness and nastiness of politics. But he is a superb policy wonk and knows how to hire and work with good people to manage priorities. At the DNC there was a slew of young folks, from Carl Chidlow to Andrew Wright to Brooks Banton (who would join the Obama campaign) to Stephanie Cherkezian — just a few of the staff and all of whom are bright, talented and competent. Lest I forget — Andrew Tobias, the superb elder statesman of the DNC (in time served, not in age) who is its treasurer.

(Source: UPI International, Marc S. Ellenbogen)

I dunno. I really don’t see Dean as that cuddly, but he’s no Rahm and Rahmbo totally has a job in the O Administration. So I’m sticking with the “they don’t particularly care for each other, but get along out of a marriage of convenience.”

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if Patrck, who keeps saying he is preparing to run for re-election, will ditch Massachusetts for greener pastures in D.C. and become the latest member of “Team Hope.” I’m sure “Second black president” has a nice ring to it in Patrick’s ears. As if being one of America’s two black governors weren’t high profile enough, for an ambitious politico this could be a sweet gig …

… given dude pays his taxes, has no secret illegal immigrants trimming his yard and isn’t humping a lobbyist as we speak.

If you want him, Team O, you vet him, for realz. The shizz is getting embarrassing!

8 thoughts on “Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick for Health & Human Services Secy. Position?

  1. I don’t think it’s that Obama doesn’t care for Howard Dean, it’s Rahm Emmanuel who all out hates Dean; and there are also a few others in the administration who aren’t Dean’s biggest fans and are very close to Obama. Dean would probably be good at the job and definitely knows the issue inside and out; but the republicans would have a lot of help from the media in painting him as some hyper partisan, far left loon; the media is after all still flogging the Dean=crazy narrative from the non-scream incident 4 years ago.

  2. I think Dean is a solid choice and as far as the rancor still left on the taste buds of the media because of his supreme enthusiasm 4 years ago, the media should get over it, they certainly didn’t have any problem grabbing ankles for the last eight years, we need a government with enthusiasm and solutions right now. As they say in the military this situation requires the force of action. as for all of these fools who haven’t paid their taxes, I’m wondering why everyone is so aghast, these guys knew years ago how bad the economy was and how bad it was going to get, hell yeah they shortchanged their taxes because they knew they could get away with it. Sounds like the good ole American way to me. By the end of this crisis that might be the only way regular folks will be able to benefit from the "Stimulus Plan"…just cheat your taxes and say ya learn’t it from ya congressmen so its good

  3. Derval should have been Attorney General actually, not HHS. Derval would have been an AG up there with Bobby Kennedy; Eric Holder is an uncreative, Beltway insider bureaucrat. Just b/c he’s not a clown or wingnut like Gonzalez or Ashcroft, or he’s on someone’s go to list–so?Dean is the pioneer and architect of the 50 state strategy. He’s almost like Etta James and Rahm’s Beyonce. hahaha But Barack’s folk just refuse to give him props. He’d be perfect for a monster department like HHS.

  4. i lke deval in massachusetts…he trying to do good things here and now that the massachusetts speaker of the house , who was a major thorn in his side, has "stepped down", i think deval can finally get some things done around here…

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