Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius resigned Thursday. Actually, according to press reports, Sebelius resigned last week, but the White House waited a week to get ready.
Friday, the president, according to the New York Times, intends to announce that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is his choice to head of HHS.
The White House defended Kathleen Sebelius all through the healthcare.gov debacle.
As the president’s poll numbers plummeted because of the bungled health care roll out, his team defended Sebelius.
As goals were not met, the White House defended Sebelius.
As numbers were concocted, walked back, massaged, reworked, and retreated, the White House stood by Sebelius.
Last week, President Obama ran a victory lap claiming seven million signups for ObamaCare. It was the goal they wanted and, to no one’s surprise, the White House claims it reached the goal. Outside, objective surveys beg to differ.
As the president ran his victory lap, Sebelius was there running with him.
Then she resigned — not forced out White House staffers claim. In fact, during the past week it appears the White House has lined up every left wing mouthpiece it could find to spin this news.
Ezra Klein, who runs the newly created left-wing propaganda site Vox.com tweeted with a straight face, “Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because ObamaCare has won.”
Josh Marshall of the left-wing Talking Points Memo rushed to twitter to proclaim, “Obvious: Waited till now to boot/go since new data makes 'failure' meme so difficult to sustain.”
Unfortunately for the White House, most of the mainstream media ignored the talking points.
The Associated Press, New York Times, and other news outlets reported Sebelius was leaving because of the problems related to the ObamaCare rollout.
One must, however, admire the left’s propaganda machine trying valiantly to spin the resignation. Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, who declined to fund Ezra Klein’s “explanatory journalism” site, must be patting himself on the back.
All this leaves open the question of why Sebelius chose to resign now. Again, it would have been far more convenient for the president to throw Sebelius under the bus when his polling went into free fall. But he did not.
The most likely explanation for Sebelius’s resignation is the growing awareness among Democrats that they have already lost the Senate. Were Sebelius to stay until the 2016 election year , she would either face a deeper joint congressional investigation or resign leaving a Republican Senate controlling the confirmation process.
Resigning now lets Sebelius escape the Republicans and avoids the Senate Republicans controlling the confirmation process for a new secretary after the midterm elections. More importantly, this could stop the Democrats’ hemorrhaging poll numbers, or at least slow the momentum against them.
Democrats have already developed their talking point for November. “This is not the ObamaCare we voted for,” they are saying.
Sebelius can be the fall guy and scapegoat. She messed up their vision. Like campus communists claiming communism would work if implemented by the right people, red state Democrats in peril can claim ObamaCare would have worked if only Sebelius had implemented it properly.
At this point, it is all the Democrats have. Kathleen Sebelius’s abrupt departure is the greatest indication yet the Democrats know just how bad November is going to be for them.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor. He is founder/editor of The Resurgent. His new book is "Before You Wake: Life Lessons From a Father to His Children”. Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.