Baucus Has “Some Ideas” For Daschle’s Replacement …

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… but he’s not telling who. Max Baucus (D-MT), who would have had to shepherd former rival Tom Daschle’s health secretary nomination to passage through his Senate Finance Committee, described himself as “surprised” by Daschle’s sudden withdrawal today.

Baucus reiterated that he supported confirming Daschle’s nomination, while acknowledging that the nominee’s scheduled hearing was “a week from today … it’s hard to know what would have happened.” When I asked if he had any suggestions for President Obama to fill the health secretary post, Baucus said coyly that “I’ve got some ideas” but declined to elaborate.

Could he be talking about Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the Nancy Pelosi ally who rents an apartment to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel? Or perhaps health care expert Jeanne Lambrew, now serving as a deputy health adviser to Obama? Or could Baucus be talking about … himself?

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