Ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) apparently has rebuffed a bold bid by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to take over health care policy in the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.Enough already. Ted Kennedy is obviously in no condition to spearhead the battle for universal healthcare. This is a subject about which Hillary Clinton is passionate, informed and engaged. She's had years of experience dealing with both the big picture and the minutia. Her healthcare proposal was widely regarded by progressives as superior to Obama's. Why not put her to work?
Sources tell the Sleuth Clinton had approached Kennedy, who chairs the Senate health committee, and Democratic leaders about creating a new special health care subcommittee, one she would chair.
Her hope was to draft the legislation that would fulfill her presidential campaign promise - and President-elect Barack Obama's - for a sweeping health care overhaul plan.
But sources say Kennedy is cool to the idea. So is his top health care aide, Michael Myers, Kennedy's staff director on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Myers tells the trade publication InsideHealthPolicy that Kennedy will continue handling health care policy at the full committee level. Asked if that meant Clinton would not be tapped to head a new health subcommittee as rumored, Myers said that was correct.
A significant portion if not a clear majority of Obama appointees look to be Clinton Administration veterans. And yet the woman who got over 18 million votes in the Democratic primaries, who campaigned her butt off for Obama and down-ticket Dems across the country, seems to be excluded from meaningful participation in an area where she is greatly needed.
Yes, I get that there are seniority issues. I get that there was a lot of bad blood in the primaries between the Clinton and Obama camps. But unity is a two-way street, and this sort of continued dissing has got to stop.