1. I'm of course happy that Gregg withdrew from Commerce Secretary nomination. Now I hope Obama appoints someone with domain and general competency to manage the large, diverse, quant-heavy bureacracy that is Commerce Dept. President of a large research university or governor of a reasonably large population state would probably be perfect: it's the closest I can think of to managing a department that has Census and NOAA, among others, in it.
2. I'm not wild about Sebilius as HHS head, because I think Obama works to hard to subordinate potential rivals (Clinton, Richardson, Napolitano) in filling these slots, rather than pick the most qualified -although both is preferable to picking poorly qualified buddies like Daschle. As I posted before, I would prefer the Public Health head of a large population state, or an undersecretary or regional director from a recent past administration. Still, Sebelius is a huge improvement on a Daschle or a Gregg -she's actually managed a fairly large bureacracy, and has decent intellectual credentials (JD -harvard, MPA U Kansas, I beleive). Also, in an original star trek kind of symbolism, I like the idea aesthetically of the HHS director coming from something closer to the health and human services sciences. It's not like (to my knowledge) Sebelius was even a health and/or human services policy specialist prior to becoming a governor. Still, I think she meets the threshhold competency minimum -although she's not close to the archetype of the perfect nominee for the job. That's why I suspect subordinated potential rivals is putting the thumb heavily on the Obama scale for her.