Set to go down as the most thankless stint in the toughest job in the history of humankind, it appears Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' run at the Department of Health and Human Services is coming to an end.
Sebelius allegedly had a private meeting with administration officials, so naturally the internet has exploded with details/speculation regarding what may be her surprise retirement. Opinions of her performance vary by wide and passionate degrees. Her fans and detractors would agree, though, if they can be bothered to agree on anything, that this was a badger-tamer of a job.
Armed with several years' experience as a human shield, and what would be rather an impressive reference from the President of the United States, a former HHS departmenthead can be selective regarding future employment. With an Affordable-Care-Act sized hangover to contend with, it's anyone's guess what this poor soul even feels like pursuing.
We've got some thoughts, suggestions: see the complete list.
Why would Kathleen Sebelius leave one thankless job where she is credited for nothing, blamed for everything and generally loathed, for another? Well, no more adored, the Transportation Security Administration is profoundly less public. Yes, screeners are latex-glove deep the traveling public all day long, but the encounters are one-on-one, and the ire inflicted upon them is essentially anonymous and temporary.
Seldom is the occasion whereby a TSA rep is hauled in front of a congressional committee to answer for matters beyond their control and pay grade. Should that happen, you can bet Rep. Elijah Cummings will be there to protect the American people's interests and right to overreact emotionally.
White House Press Secretary
No stranger to inquisitorial pressure, Sebelius seems well equipped to handle the rigors of a sacrificial WH press briefing. The best to ever hold the position, Jay Carney isn't going anywhere, though the man could clearly use some relief. The effort it takes to return to the podium day after day, to deflect even the most well-meaning inquiry, as if it is an affront to intelligent society, must be herculean.
Responding to questions in a manner that appears reasonable while disclosing not a stitch of actual information has been Sebelius' primary function at HHS. She'd make an excellent press secretary.
Would anyone willingly force parts of their own arm up the wrong end of a five-ton animal? You may just as reasonably ask, would anyone willingly stand out in front of a skeptical public and cynical congress to defend a healthcare law that is at once untenable and all-encompassing? You would if you have a passion for it.
While Sebilius' passion for the later may be waning, ministering to an ailing pachyderm couldn't be any less pleasant. It would be more rewarding by half.