Speculation swirls--second time around--over nominations for HHS post

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After the unexpected withdrawal of former senator Tom Daschle as nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, beltway insiders are speculating about a possible replacement.

Some of the names being thrown around are the same ones from last November, before Daschle was tapped for the job. They include Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS), Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) and former Vermont governor Howard Dean. But some new names have made the list this time around.

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who helped pass significant health insurance laws in his state, is believed to be on the list, as well. Whoever becomes the new nominee, however, isn't likely to have Daschle's command of healthcare issues or his legislative prowess, Washington insiders suggest.