POLITICS

Dean Gets HHS Endorsement From Patrick Leahy

03/12/2009 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

Chalk up another endorsement for Howard Dean taking over the reins of the Department of Health and Human Services.

On Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy said that the former DNC header and fellow Vermont Democrat would be the ideal candidate to take the spot of recently withdrawn HHS nominee, Tom Daschle.

"I think Howard Dean would do a great job," Leahy told the Huffington Post at an event at Georgetown University. "He is a physician. As governor he had to deal with everything that went right with HHS and with everything that went wrong. He can tell us that these are the things that a governor has to face, Medicare especially and other things, he is very knowledgeable. He would be very good ... And he is obviously a tireless worker."

In coming out in support of Dean -- who has been mum on the HHS rumors -- Leahy joins a group of elected officials, including two fellow Vermonters. Last week, Sens. Tim Harkin (D-IA) and Bernie Sanders, as well as Reps. Peter Welch and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), all offered endorsements of sorts for the former Vermont Governor. And yet, Dean chances at ascending to the post seem clouded by his choppy relationship with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The major names now rumored for the HHS nod are Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

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