Andy Sher explains why our governor would likely be more than happy to take a cabinet job in he Obama administration if offered:
“He does have sort of a mess,” said Ed Cromer, editor of the Tennessee Journal, a nonpartisan political newsletter. The governor “has got a House that’s practically been fighting the Civil War and a speaker without a party,” Mr. Cromer said. Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville and leader of the state House, said he thinks a national position might look pretty nice to the governor at this point. “If you’re asking me if Phil Bredesen would accept a cabinet position, my answer would be: In a New York minute,” he joked. Still, Rep. Odom said, the governor “enjoys solving problems and we know there’s plenty enough problems in Washington that need to be solved.” But if the governor is looking for comfort, he may not find it in Washington. National attacks against his potential nomination for Health and Human Services continue flying.
Feb 16, 2009 6:38 AM
Tom Humphrey reports:
"First of all, while I think my state of the state speeches are really important, I kind of suspect that President Obama wasn't watching, nor was Rahm Emanuel or anyone else like that," Bredesen said in a telephone news conference this morning. Bredesen said he has "talked extensively" about the subject in the past and felt it was an appropriate topic in the speech since many people are losing health insurance during the economic downturn. "There wasn't any signal intended in that stuff," he said. "I'm not campaigning for this job." Bredesen said he was generally "feeling a little bemused" about the speculation, but felt obliged to "push back" against health care advocates who have launched a campaign to block any consideration of Bredesen for the job. "I'm certainly not going to let somebody say things that are just plain wrong," he said. He described his detrators as "advocacy groups who start filling up a garbage can and dumping it all over you."The words are right there for everyone to see -- as are the interviews which conveniently broke shortly after the speech. The case is circumstantial as they always are in situations such as these but it looks like a public relations effort to me. SEE ALSO: Jeff Woods Think Progress
Feb 10, 2009 11:26 AM
And he wants that made clear to national press outlets:
The governor and one of his top aides say he isn't campaigning for the post but that they are not going to let the criticism go unanswered. His staff made available letters of support for him to Mr. Emanuel from the president of the Tennessee Hospital Association and from a half dozen pediatricians in the state.SEE ALSO: The Politico (HT: Insty)
Feb 9, 2009 9:33 PM
The Honorable Phil Governor works his job interview for Secretary of Health and Human Services into his state of the state address:
One immediate concern is health care: when people lose their jobs, they often lose their health insurance as well. We know that additional people will qualify for TennCare, and we are planning for that in the budget. We have opened CoverTN up to those who have lost their jobs, and trust that this will help some as well. These avenues of help are well-meaning but still patchwork, and this recession has truly underlined for me something that I've believed for a long time: that we need a national solution for health insurance. Our health care system has become antiquated and unfair, and I deeply hope that a new President and a new Congress can fashion the solution that Tennessee and America deserve.SEE ALSO: Brian Hornback
Feb 9, 2009 6:25 PM
Governor Phil Bredesen reveals his goals for tonight's speech to a joint session of the General Assembly:
“Part of what I need to do is say, ‘There’s a time for that kind of inside baseball, political intrique. For the next couple of months anyway you have to push that stuff down and work with me,’” Gov. Bredesen said.
Feb 9, 2009 8:43 AM
Matt Yglesias wonders whether the best place for Phil Bredesen's chief rival for the job of Secretary of Health and Human Services isn't the United States Senate:
Sebelius would be an excellent Secretary. But as with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, I also think she could be an excellent United States Senator. And in Kansas, even more so than in Arizona, the second-best potential candidate is probably a good deal weaker. Of course cabinet positions aren’t inconsistent with Senate runs, but the timing doesn’t look great to me in either of these situations. And one thing we’re learning is that President Obama’s ability to deliver on a progressive agenda depends at least as much on the outlook in the Senate as it does on the quality of his team.
Feb 9, 2009 8:35 AM
Clint Brewer notes that it sure seems that way:
Normally, there might be some measure of tension over a Democratic governor turning over his office to a leading Republican with almost two years left in a term. That would set Ramsey up well to run for a full term in 2010. Yet, insiders say that tensions may not exist given an increasingly relaxed working relationship between Bredesen and Ramsey. Bredesen has seen his fellow Democrats turn their back on his wishes for the party on both House leader and state party chair. Making Tennessee Democratic Party activists happy might not be at the top of Bredesen’s list of priorities if he believes the state is in good hands.
Feb 9, 2009 1:33 AM
The Honorable Phil Governor is still in contention, however:
Her name had been floated for several Cabinet posts, but she announced in early December that she had removed herself from consideration from a Cabinet job, citing Kansas' budget problems that needed her attention. The two-term governor remains popular in her state and comes from a strong political family. Her father, John Gilligan, was the governor of Ohio in the early 1970s. She also advised Obama's campaign on how to connect with women, especially after Republicans picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as their vice presidential nominee. Sebelius was in town last week to give a pair of speeches, one on clean energy jobs and the other at the National Education Association. She also met at the Ritz Carlton hotel with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Sebelius' trip was planned before Daschle bowed out as nominee for HHS secretary as a result of fallout from about $140,000 in back taxes and interest he paid last month. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen also was on Obama's list to run the nation's massive health programs. Already, though, some advocacy groups were lining up to oppose the Democratic governor. He remains under consideration, the senior official said.SEE ALSO: Associated Press Jonathan Singer Fox News CNN Campaign Diaries
Feb 8, 2009 12:48 PM
Rep. Stacey Campfield thinks he does and if he's smart the governor won't take a job in Washington with the Obama administration -- if asked:
Although the state is not in great financial shape right now Phil could stay in Tennessee and with the stimulus be sitting pretty, gearing up for a senate run in 5 years. The other side in DC would put him trying to force socialized medicine down peoples throat for Obama. Not a good place to be unless it is your final stop and socialized medicine is your big liberal dream. I think (hope) Phil having been in the private sector knows it will not work so why charge hard for something you don't believe in? I am sure he likes to have his name thrown around and all but I don't see Phil moving anywhere. I don't think he will be asked and if asked I don't see him going.
Feb 7, 2009 12:00 PM
Governor Phil Bredesen on what he would be interested in accomplishing as Secreatary of Health and Human Services if offered the job by President Obama:
"I'm a believer in some form of national or universal health care," he said, "not operated by the government but underwritten by the government. We don't do a good job of running things compared to private industry, but we do a good job with things like Social Security, being able to move money around." Bredesen said that any new plan shouldn't be "the sort of super-comprehensive system where anything you want, no matter what, no matter when, is free." "I would love to see something which is universal, which provides the basic kind of services you need and, you know, if a union wants to add something to it or an employer wants to add something to it on top of that, that's fine, but let's underwrite the basic stuff," he said.
Feb 7, 2009 11:56 AM