Barack Obama went before reporters to introduce Tom Daschle as his pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services today, but the real attention was on his reaction to the Rod Blagojevich scandal. “I was as appalled and disappointed as anyone,” he said, sayinghe's still gathering information on any communication that might have occurred between his staff and the disgraced governor.
“I had no contact with the governor’s office,” Obama said. “That I know for certain.” He was also “absolutely certain” that his staff hadn’t tried to strike a deal for the seat, which “does not belong to any politician to trade.” He said that Blagojevich could no longer effectively serve the people of Illinios and should resign. Obama also introduced Daschle, who he called “the original no-drama guy.” Daschle promised sweeping reform to make US health care “as affordable and as available as it is innovative.”