Right on time—i.e., six months after screwing up worse than any HHS secretary in history—Kathleen Sibelius has resigned:
Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.
U.S. officials told NBC News that President Barack Obama would nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently director of the White House Office and Management and Budget, to succeed Sebelius, 65, the former governor of Kansas, who was an original member of the Cabinet that Obama appointed when he took office in January 2009.
No reason for Sebelius' departure, was immediately available, but she came under sustained criticism as head of the agency in charge of the controversial rollout of Obama's health care reform initiative.
For those of you reading overseas, particularly in the U.K., we do things differently than most other democracies. In the U.K., when a minister completely fails at his job, he resigns more or less immediately, and gets back in government (or shadow government) usually at the next election. In the U.S., when a cabinet secretary completely fails, she waits six months, resigns, and never holds that level of responsibility again.
Now, contrast British and American bankruptcy laws and you will see how completely backwards these things are. British bankruptcy ruins a person; it's really the very-last-ditch thing you can do before living on the street. American bankruptcy is a chance to start over, and usually done just at the point where a person is in serious default but not yet destitute.
So it's interesting how our government resignations are just the opposite. Then again, someone like Sibelius will usually has no trouble earning millions on the lecture-and-book circuit, which I believe isn't an option in the U.K.
Anyway, Sibelius has resigned pretty much six months to the day that her epic failure became public knowledge. It's the American way, after all.