Kathleen Sebelius Weighing Senate Run, Apparently, In Spite of That Whole Obamacare Thing
Kathleen Sebelius has a glint in her eye and fire in her belly. She's also kind of tired, because as you may remember, she was the person in charge of the Obamacare rollout, which didn't exactly go down without a hitch. Last week she resigned as secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Not one to stay idle, Sebelius is now thinking of running for Senate in Kansas, apparently, because this woman can't wait to get back in the ring.
Some are suggesting a run is maybe not the best call. It's been kind of a rough few months. Maybe get away from your smartphone for a while, you know? But clearly the battle-worn Sebelius is down for a challenge. It's not like being a senator would normally be out of the question for her — she was twice a popular governor of the state and has a strong background in policy.
Some Dems told The New York Times that Sebelius is the party's best chance to oust Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, who's 77 and by the way totally dissed Sebelius late last year, which is where revenge comes into this whole thing.
Because reportedly, despite being completely exhausted after months of being battered by Republicans and struggling to get the healthcare exchange site up and functioning, Sebelius has an appetite. An appetite for some revenge on ol' Roberts.
Back in October, Roberts, an old family friend of Sebelius', accused Sebelius of "gross incompetence" in a statement:
In the absence of a full repeal of Obamacare, which is my preference, we need new leadership from top to bottom. I am calling on the Secretary to resign.
Sebelius didn't. Instead, though it underwent plenty of fits and starts, the exchange eventually signed up more than 7.5 million Americans for health insurance. Sebelius did ultimately resign, because she oversaw the exchanges during their most dysfunctional hour, but it the rollout was fairly successful nonetheless. That's probably why she got so many standing ovations during President Obama's speech on the appointment of her probable successor.
The problem isn't Sebelius' credentials. Instead, as The Wire points out, she's now been slapped with the moniker of "Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the Obamacare fiasco." So a fight for a Senate seat in conservative Kansas could be a tough one to win. She has a little time to think about it: candidates must file for the Democratic primary by June 2.