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Pundits: Sebelius Could Join Obama Cabinet

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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She was on a short list to be Vice-President, and now some believe Governor Kathleen Sebelius could be on an even shorter list to join President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet when he takes office in January.

Sebelius said Wednesday she'd had no contact with Obama's campaign regarding the speculation, and that her focus remains on Kansas.

Sebelius has championed for Obama since he visited El Dorado in January of this year. The democrats have been on the road both together and apart, trying to win voters.

"I'd think she has an excellent chance of joining his cabinet," said WSU Professor Ken Ciboski on Wednesday. "I think she could be in the Department of Energy, or perhaps Secretary of Health. There are several different roles she could play.

Sebelius has long said her place is in Kansas, not the nation's capital. But pundits believe as her second term of governor comes to a close, it makes sense she'd seek a position in Washington, DC.

Ciboski says it's likely Obama will approach Sebelius with an opportunity to join his cabinet. Sebelius was among the key democrats to campaign in the crucial state of Ohio. Sebelius' father, John Gilligan, was Governor of Ohio for one term in the early 1970s.

There is also speculation Sebelius may want to finish her second term as governor, then seek a spot as a senator. Republican Sam Brownback's term expires in 2010, the same year Sebelius' term is up. Coincidentally, Ciboski says Brownback is eyeing the Kansas Governor's Mansion as his potential next move.

Whether Sebelius stays in Topeka, or heads to Washington with Obama is entirely a personal decision.

And, Ciboski points out, she must first be asked. If that is to happen, experts say it could be before the end of the month.


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