Archive for Saturday, May 24, 2008

Simons: Sebelius balancing current duties, future prospects

May 24, 2008


Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is walking a political tightrope these days trying to pay attention to her duties and responsibilities as Kansas governor and, at the same time, maintain a high, positive profile among the nation's senior Democratic leaders.

She has been a strong and early supporter of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. She is bound to be pleased by the numerous news stories that suggest she might be high on the list of possible vice presidential running mates - or Cabinet appointees, if Obama is elected president.

It would be difficult for Sebelius to wear blinders and not pay attention to those who suggest she is Democratic national leadership material.

At the same time, she is supposed to be taking care of the affairs of Kansas and its residents and do what she can to help make Kansas an even better state.

She knows, however, that actions and decisions she makes in Kansas could strengthen or weaken her in the eyes of those who call the shots in the national Democratic Party or in the eyes of Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, when choosing a running mate or, if he is elected, making Cabinet appointments.

This being the case, some may question whether Sebelius' vetoes of three bills that would have allowed construction of a large coal-fired power plant in western Kansas were based on what is best for Kansas, the state's economy and particularly the economy of western Kansas. Or would the vetoes put her in a stronger position nationally because she would be seen as placing top concern on the environment rather than caving into the wishes of a relatively small number of Kansans?

Was it more important, in her eyes, to please national Democratic bigwigs than to sign the bill that would help the economy of Kansas?

On the flip side, consider what Sebelius might have gained by OK'ing construction of the nation's cleanest coal-fired power plant, a plant other states could use as a model to lessen contamination of our environment.

The fact is, coal will be used to supply the vast percentage of this nation's energy for years to come, so why not have Kansas be a leader that other states could follow in designing and building very special coal-fired power plants?

The answer to this question probably depends on the political leanings of those passing judgment.

Another recent action by the governor was to veto legislation that would require voters to show a photo identification to participate in Kansas elections.

Did she do this to please those who are considering who would be the best running mate for Obama or who might be a strong Cabinet appointee? Did she really think there is no need to worry about election fraud in Kansas and, therefore, no need to make sure those lining up to vote in Kansas are, indeed, all eligible, legal voters?

Again, the answer to this question probably depends on personal political affiliations.

Sebelius has attracted attention by being a Democratic governor in a traditionally Republican state. She is an attractive, able speaker, and she has enjoyed reasonable success in the state. She also was given a big national boost and attention when the Democratic Party selected her to give the party's response to President Bush's State of the Union Address this year.

She is a tough, talented politician who can and does play hard ball. However, much of her success in Kansas is due to the severe split between moderate and more conservative elements within the Republican Party. Kansas Republicans cannot get their act together.

Time will tell whether Sebelius has played her political cards right. Obviously, the first indication will be if Obama wins the Democratic nomination and selects Sebelius as his running mate. If not that, the next question is whether Sebelius would be given a Cabinet position if a Democrat is elected president.

Sebelius' political future has been widely discussed and analyzed. Current speculation focuses on her chances to be on the Democratic presidential ticket or a Cabinet appointee or whether she would choose to run for the U.S. Senate or seek some other high elective or appointive office after she completes her term as governor.

It is hoped she will devote most of her attention and energy to helping make Kansas a better state in which to live, work and play. That way, Kansas wins - and Sebelius' stature within the national Democratic Party is sure to rise.


JohnBrown 9 years, 9 months ago

We ought to keep an eye open on our electrical delivery and infrastructure. It's beginning to look like there could be a market swing towards electric vehicles for local travel, relegating gasoline to, mostly, long distance travel.

Bossa_Nova 9 years, 9 months ago

hey everybody, i apologize for being really shallow, but for being a mature gal, kathleen's hot. she's got that older, powerful, successful sexy look. and well, we all know photogenics goes a long way in elections nowadays.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Well another opinion about our good governor Kathleen Sebelius. Obviously this opinion writer is a disgruntled BUSHCO neoconservative. Kathleen Sebelius strikes me as an intelligent female who has a handle on her future who does not need advice from this corner. Yes Kathleen Sebelius would be a fine selection for Vice President , Secretary of Health and Human Services or EPA Secretary. When the writer talks about coal power there is a loss of forward thinking not that anyone should be surprised. Taking a stand against old expensive coal power probably make the writer fear being labeled an environmentalist. Frankly that is an honor in my life. However that should not get in the way of smart economics, So allow me to offer another avenue that perhaps would not threatening.In fact another organization could be formed called "Smart Americans Against Corporate American Crooks". This group could be for alternative electric generation as a matter of smart economics.Rebuilding economies: of believing the coal and nuke power executives and the politicians who have been paid by the coal and nuke power executives. Since when did these two groups become trustworthy?

Flap Doodle 9 years, 9 months ago

Kathleen, practice this phrase: "you want fries with that?"

dirkleisure 9 years, 9 months ago

snap, I can most certainly guarantee the next job for Kathleen Sebelius will not be as your manager on the Wendy's night shift.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm not a disgruntled BUSHCO neocon and I think inflicting Governor Roundheels on America would undermine everything the Democratic Party did in nominating Obama.Why would we nominate an ideological change agent and then saddle him with this Republicrat prostitute? Is there a decision this woman has made that was based on anything other then her own well being?She sold out KU Hospital to pay off her financial backers in KCMO. She supported the coal plants out west until the national party leaders explained the impact it would have on her chances to be the VP candidate. Her policies with regard to minorities are more reactionary than Bill Graves and don't even get the water rights folks started on her.Then add to her baggage the recent hits she's taken from the Catholic Church at a time when Obama is having problems with the Jews, both traditionally strong Democratic strongholds and you have a woman with a huge L on her forehead, and it doesn't stand for liberal.I question whether she could even carry Kansas at this point.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 9 months ago

Dirk, perhaps it will be as your manager on the day shift.

davidsmom 9 years, 9 months ago

In her delivery of the Democrats' response to the State of the Union address, she looked stiff, uncomfortable, lacking in confidence. I have never seen her in person, but I imagine she appears a better public speaker than she did on national television. If she becomes a VP candidate, she either has to get comfortable with the television medium or she is a huge liability.

Scott Tichenor 9 years, 9 months ago

Analysis: editorial about one of the most popular Democratic governors in America, written by a known right-wing Christian conservative newspaper owner. Should we expect anything different? After all, this is the paper that endorsed Jim Ryun. Most of the Republican party didn't even buy that one.

number1jayhawker 9 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that she is watching out for her own personal future as opposed to us Kansans future.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 9 months ago

We'll see how she "leads" in the next day or so.Will she get out of her cozy office in Topeka to tour western Kansas and view all the horrible tornado damage? Or, will she op for the 'ole routine of staying home and cozying up to the lobbyists and highpowered brokers of society?If this lady wishes to aspire to higher office it must start at home.Stay tuned.

Lindsey Buscher 9 years, 9 months ago


tunahelper 9 years, 9 months ago

obama bin laden is gonna lose!the coal plants in Holcomb will be built!kathy seb is a loser!

candlelight 9 years, 8 months ago

Dolph is starting to get it - long way to go

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