Archive for Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sebelius plans to keep campaigning for Obama

Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, center, shakes hands with Topekan Ted Ensley as Obama is escorted by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to the ballroom of the downtown Topeka Ramada Inn, in this file photo. Late Friday, Obama selected Delaware Sen. Joe Biden for the Democratic ticket, ending a frenzy of speculation that also swirled around Sebelius, who was considered by most political observers as among the top tier of possible nominees.

Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, center, shakes hands with Topekan Ted Ensley as Obama is escorted by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to the ballroom of the downtown Topeka Ramada Inn, in this file photo. Late Friday, Obama selected Delaware Sen. Joe Biden for the Democratic ticket, ending a frenzy of speculation that also swirled around Sebelius, who was considered by most political observers as among the top tier of possible nominees.

August 23, 2008, 1:12 a.m. Updated August 24, 2008, 12:00 a.m.


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Kathleen Sebelius: Two decades in politics

Kathleen Sebelius is the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama's Cabinet. She has served as Kansas' governor since 2002 and before that was insurance commissioner and a state representative.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Saturday voiced support for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's pick of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden for vice president, and then headed to Denver to help launch the new ticket and start the Democratic National Convention.

In a prepared statement, Sebelius, who had been a contender for the No. 2 spot, said Biden's experience in foreign policy was "an asset in these complicated times."

She added, "He will be a great partner for Barack Obama in bringing about the change so desperately needed in our country, and restoring to America our sense of optimism and hope for a brighter future."

After a short speech in Denver, surrounded by well-wishers but only a couple of reporters, Sebelius smiled wide when asked whether she felt a little relieved the vice presidential speculation was over.

"It's a little easier to get out the door, yes," she said. "You don't have people saying, 'Where are you going? What are you doing?'"

Republican Party officials at the national and state level criticized the pick of Biden. "This is a clear indication that Obama is not comfortable with his campaign of 'change' when you bring a senator on board that has been there since 1972," said Kansas Republican Party executive director Christian Morgan.

Sebelius was considered among the final four candidates for vice president because of her experience as governor and ability to win Republican and independent support.

But Obama went with a Senate veteran and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who will be seen by some as providing valuable experience to ticket. The Delaware senator's working-class, Catholic roots were also expected to help Obama appeal to middle-class voters in key battleground states.

Sebelius undoubtedly will maintain a high profile in the presidential campaign and said she expects to travel on Obama's behalf. She is co-chair of the Democratic National Convention that starts Monday and will be one of the prime-time speakers at the event Tuesday evening. Her speech is expected to last about six minutes.

"A lot of us are going to focus on the fact that the country is facing some real challenges," Sebelius said when talking to reporters Friday before the VP announcement. "Families around this state and states across the country are struggling to pay for gas and pay their bills, and we think that Barack Obama is exactly the leader we need to get this country back on track."

Sebelius came out in support of Obama earlier this year, and the two seemed to share a close working relationship and interest in policy issues. Obama frequently praised the two-term governor's ability to reach out across party lines and win compromises.

Asked if an Obama victory could translate into a future administration job, Sebelius said, "That's a long way down the line. Who knows? I may have a job announced in the near future. You can't tell."

Sebelius' final term as governor runs out in 2010, and some have speculated that she will run for the Senate that year or take a job in an Obama administration if he should win.

For now, she said, her aim is to get Obama elected.

"I think he is the right leader for the right time," Sebelius said. "And I'm going to do everything I can to help him get elected president of the United States."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


rtwngr 9 years, 9 months ago

Biden? I thought Obama wanted to win. I thought Obama wanted change? Biden is what's wrong with Washington politics. Biden is the status quo of Washington, D.C. Great job, Obama! You're giving us a chance to win.The "Right" Wing

Yurfulla 9 years, 9 months ago

BREAKING NEWS ON John McCain's VP pick. I was chatting with J-Mac a few minutes ago, and he told me that he's down to three finalists: 1. Margaret Thatcher. Why? She has a LOT of experience, and he looks young compared to her. 2. Paris Hilton. Why? With Paris as VP, nobody will ever look at or listen to the opposition. They'll be looking at her. 3. Michael Jackson. Win back the black vote. Keep the white vote. Maybe add some of the woman vote. And if we can't get people back on the moon, at least we can do the moonwalk. Just thought you'd like to know,Yuri P.S. J-Mac is thinking he might have all THREE as VP. Corporations have more than one VP, why not the US of A?

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 9 months ago

She has been campaigning for Hussein Obama since at LEAST the Greensburg tornado when she and him made the same ridiculous comments about the cleanup of the tornado and Obama said that 10,000 people lost their homes... in a town of about 1,700. This is also a sure signof the lack of integrity that Hussein has.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 9 months ago

Please explain to this reader how a non-event now becomes news. This isn't horseshoes or hand-grenades.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Face it Biden was a smart choice for obvious reasons. One smart aspect of Biden and Obama is they believe in having a foreign policy plus diplomacy which will gain respect from the rest of the world.Whereas the republican party has zero respect from the worldwide table due to their macho redneck approach to leaders of the world. The last eight years of BUSHCO = USA Oil Cartel as foreign policy which is truly stinky and polluted.

jayhawkframer 9 years, 9 months ago

I like the fact that just a few months ago Sen. Biden said Obama wasn't qualified for the job. I guess a few months of campaining makes him more than qualified. The Dems are such a joke.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Now it's time to force the issues to the front burner and ignore the sex and swift boating from the republicans. Deception and avoiding the issues are the republican campaign trademark.The issues it seems are: Bring all the troops home. The Iraq people know how to rebuild a country and run an oil business. Their oil is not our oil.40,000 disabled troops More than 4,000 dead troops 1,000,000 dead Iraq men,women and Children Creating new industry that cannot be outsourced Cleaner Energy Sources National Health Insurance ( Support HR 676) Dumping No Child Left Behind Restoring Rights of Americans that republicans took away Reining in the power of the President Restoring the EPA Acts that the republican wiped out Restoring the USDA to a credible agency that places consumers over special interest money Voter Rights NOT special interest rights:Campaigns go too long,spend way too much money and do not necessarily provide the best available.It is up to us to stop the nonsense at the voting booths on the 2008 ballot.Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing.Lets's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : a change on the 2008 ballot. We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. would be against Public Funding?

Centerville 9 years, 9 months ago

Dang. Biden is such a putz and Obama is such a moron. Looks like we'll be stuck with Sibileus for another couple years. On the bright side, Scott Rothschild can continue to have her all to himself!

Sigmund 9 years, 9 months ago

I was so hoping Gov Kathy would be the running mate Barry Obama. At least when the Chosen One ascends the throne we would have been rid of her.

BigPrune 9 years, 9 months ago

With all the high drama from the Obama camp, and apparent indecisions in the VP arena and habitual lying and his classic uhhh's when not reading from a script, could Obama be ADHD?

Godot 9 years, 9 months ago

We need to enact a law that provides that elected officials who run for another office must resign the day they announce their candidacy for the other office. And, we need to make it clear that elected officers must use their personal vacation days to stump for other politicans. When they run out of vacation, they just have to quit stumping.If that were the case now, Sebelius' stumping days would be long, gone.

jmadison 9 years, 9 months ago

The party needs to coalesce behind Sen Obama and Sen Biden. Sen Biden brings precise disciplined original thinking to Sen Obama's campaign.

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