On Friday's New Day, the Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson said outgoing HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be "coach of the year" if she were a basketball coach.
"I do think if she were a basketball coach, right, she would probably be coach of the year, right? Because she was able to turn this thing around, had good news yesterday that 7.5 million people, you know, signed up for this thing," Henderson stated on CNN. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Bloomberg's Margaret Talev tempered that sentiment but said Sebelius did leave "on sort of a high note." At least she pointed to the birth control mandate as one of the controversies Sebelius endured as HHS Secretary.
"There were other problems even before ObamaCare with her handling of the contraception controversy. She wasn't good on her feet in a tense political situation," noted Henderson.
Below is a transcript of the segment:
[7:27 a.m. EST]
JOHN KING: Let's start with the surprise resignation – at least I think it's a surprise. You tell me if not, of Kathleen Sebelius. She was testifying on Capitol Hill just yesterday. And then after nightfall in the evening we get word she has resigned, and the President today will quickly announce her replacement. We'll get to the replacement in a minute. Not surprised that she wanted to get to the door. But I am surprised to some degree that they did this before the election because now they have a confirmation progress which gives Republicans a Senate platform to re-debate ObamaCare.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, Washington Post: Exactly, you know, they wanted to turn the page with this, right? If you had gone to the AFP's website a couple of weeks ago Sebelius was on that website. She was becoming the face of ObamaCare, a very negative public face. She had some poor outings in congressional hearings, on the Daily Show. But I do think if she were a basketball coach, right, she would probably be coach of the year, right? Because she was able to turn this thing around, had good news yesterday that 7.5 million people, you know, signed up for this thing. But I think she was just becoming toxic because the politics of it just weren't good.
MARGARET TALEV, Bloomberg News: It's more like a coach who was never going to get their contract extended, but at least they got to go out on sort of a high note. I mean, this is like the surprise announcement that was two years coming, right? There were other problems even before ObamaCare with her handling of the contraception controversy. She wasn't good on her feet in a tense political situation. She's glad to have hit that sort of 7.5 million mark. But –
KING: And so the politician, former governor of Kansas, steps aside and a career inside person, a partisan but someone who doesn't play so politician, Sylvia Matthews – she was when I covered the Clinton White House, Sylvia Matthews Burwell now.