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Obama names Daschle to lead health drive

world Updated: Nov 21, 2008 01:11 IST
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President-elect Barack Obama has selected former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, a key political ally, for the job of health and human services secretary, it was widely reported on Thursday.

Health care reform is a priority for Obama, and Daschle's old friendships and his knowledge of the workings of Congress will be useful in securing the passage of any proposal. Daschle, 60, is now with the liberal think-tank Centre for American Progress.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is Obama's choice to head the Homeland Security Department, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported. Napolitano, 50, was one of Obama’s early supporters.

The department is also responsible for immigration policy.

Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, national finance chair for Obama's campaign, is said to be the leading candidate for commerce secretary. Pritzker, 49, is an heir of the family that founded the Hyatt hotel chain.

Obama takes office on January 20.

McCain wins last state in US Prez polls

Republican John McCain, who was pipped by Barack Obama in the race for White House, picked a consolation prize by scoring a win in Missouri — the last state to be decided in the 2008 presidential election.

With all precincts reporting, the unofficial lead for McCain over the Democrat is 3,902 votes, a margin of just more than one-tenth of one per cent. Because the margin is below one per cent, Obama can seek a recount, but is not expected to do so, US media reported.

The Missouri results break a bellwether streak. It is the first time since 1956, and only the second time since 1900, when the state backed a presidential loser. The Arizona Senator will receive Missouri's 11 electoral votes, giving him 173 to Obama’s 365.