Found over at New Advent (which you should be visiting every day!) there is this headline: Anonymous White House sources: Sebelius led fight for contraception edict, while VP Biden warned Obama about backlash from Catholic voters…..
President Barack Obama ended months of internal White House debate by siding with a group of mostly female advisers who urged him not to limit a health-care law mandate to provide contraceptives, even at the risk of alienating Catholic voters in November, people familiar with the discussions said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic and a two-term governor of Kansas, was joined by several female Obama advisers in urging against a broad exemption for religious organizations. To do so would leave too many women without coverage and sap the enthusiasm for Obama among women’s rights advocates, they said, according to the people, who spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.
Vice President Joe Biden and then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley, also Catholics, warned that the mandate would be seen as a government intrusion on religious institutions. Even moderate Catholic voters in battleground states might be alienated, they warned, according to the people familiar with the discussions.
The whole article is interesting, particularly in the sense it gives of the enormous amount of sway held by Valerie Jarrett, but I couldn’t help wondering if this HHS Mandate decision is why Bill Daley left the White House so suddenly.
The timeline fits. Daley announced he was leaving as the debate was going on in the White House and his departure co-incides with the announced decision.
Is it possible that Daley — who political junkies expected to remain on Obama’s staff through the ’12 election — looked at this decision and, either as a citizen who couldn’t get behind this assault on religious freedom or as a Catholic could not agree and, in good conscience, no choice but to resign?