Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daschle withdraws as nominee for HHS secretary

Here's the news we expected and hoped for!

WASHINGTON – Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination on Tuesday to be President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services secretary, faced with problems over back taxes and potential conflicts of interest.

"Now we must move forward," Obama said in a written statement accepting Daschle's request to be taken out of consideration. A day earlier, Obama had said he "absolutely" stood by Daschle.

Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, said he would have not been able to operate "with the full faith of Congress and the American people."

"I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction" to Obama's agenda, he said.

His stunning statement came less than three hours after another Obama nominee also withdrew from consideration, and also over tax problems. Nancy Killefer, nominated by Obama to be the government's first chief performance officer, said she didn't want her bungling of payroll taxes on her household help to be a distraction.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Daschle's former Democratic colleagues had rallied to his defense in the wake of questions about a series of tax issues. Last month, Daschle paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.

"Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged," Obama said. "He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake and this decision cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country."

Daschle also was facing questions about potential conflicts of interests related to the speaking fees he accepted from health care interests. Daschle also provided advice to health insurers and hospitals through his post-Senate work at a law firm.

The withdrawal comes after Republicans and major newspapers questioned Obama's decision to stick with Daschle.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said Obama was "losing credibility" with his statements in support of Daschle. "Part of leadership is recognizing when there has been a mistake made and responding quickly," the Republican said.

In an editorial, The New York Times described Daschle's ability to move "cozily between government and industry" as a cloud over any role he might play in changing the nation's health care system.

The Chicago Tribune opined that "Daschle is dispensable" and suggested that "to proclaim high standards and then suspend them exposes Obama to charges that he is either hypocritical or obtuse.

At the rate they're going, we will soon have an all-Republican cabinet. Wouldn't THAT be sweet? Hopefully, there will be at least a couple of token dems left in there. This circus gets better and better every day!


My Files said...

Don't let the door hit you on the way out you creep!

Angie Lee said...

He is both hypocritical AND obtuse. An interesting combination, but not really rare - all left-wing liberals have this special trait.

Joe "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Of course Daschle should have stepped aside weeks ago. But the wonderful thing about this AA, is you guys may have to swallow Howard Dean as HHs Director. Your wails of anguish will be music to the ears of this Lib.

BB-Idaho said...

Odd, these Dems. Former practice was to nominate someone who in no way would be approved, wait and then do a 'recess appointment'.
Kind of refreshing in a way....

Brooke said...

The hubris of these people, KNOWING they're dirty an thinking they won't get caught, and only withdrawing when the public is SCREAMING.

Beth said...

The hubris of these people, KNOWING they're dirty an thinking they won't get caught, and only withdrawing when the public is SCREAMING.

That's the Audacity of Hope, Brooke.

WomanHonorThyself said...

oh more socialists who are corrupt...what news!..not!..great posting buddy..keep it up.
ethics?..what ethics?..lol

Angie Lee said...

It's all just a game. There is an ulterior motive behind all this.

Barry's campaign preached hope and change, change we need, change we can believe in; transparency of government and blocking lobbyists in the administration. Nominating people of questionable character, who "own up" to their "mistakes" - in a very public manner - then bow out gracefully to show the public they will not serve as a rabid-dog right wing nutcase distraction to Obama's work, and at the same time putting lipstick on it and calling it "nonpartisanship" and claiming they are truly being "responsible" for the sake of the country.

Average American said...

My Files, thanks for dropping by. No tears over his departure, that is for sure.

Angie Lee, he exemplefied what it means to be a leftard. Dropping out may be the only decent thing he has ever done.

Truth, Ah yes, screaming Howard. We won't have to swallow him, you lefties will when he makes an utter fool of himself---AGAIN. You know he will.

BB, well after all, we DID get promised some change. Maybe this is it?

Brooke, ah yes, a few of them got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. What do you suppose the ones who didn't get caught yet have hiding in their closets?

Beth, good call. That is just what it is.

Angel, I guess the news would be IF we ever find an honest one. Not real likely though. BTW, My e-mail is screwed up big time right now, but I will get back to you as soon as fairpoint fixes their mess.

Angie Lee, Welcome to my humble abode, and thank you for commenting. I visited yours twice already and found it very informative. I'll be back for sure. As inexperienced as he is, it sure would be nice to see him surround himself with a higher caliber of people. He will have to rely on his cabinet and staff for their expertise. He certainly could be doing better in this regard. He has a few that should prove to be all right. I have to hope he does well for the sake of the country, which means he has to fail on most of his promises. Looks like a 1-termer to me!

Anonymous said...

Circus is the correct was to define the administration so far, and Barack Obama is the clown. Don't you love the way he ducked out of town to take questions from seven year old children instead of facing the scrutiny of the media?

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I seem to remember two words recently -- were they "heat" and "kitchen"? Something like that?

Daschle, you ignorant slut. Go away faster.


David Wyatt said...


I just wanted to post on your blog to tell you that you are doing a tremendous job of keeping us informed in an excellent way. I have appreciated your posts on Z's blog & others. God Bless.

Average American said...

David, thank you so much for the kudos. I will travel over and check yours out in a few moments.

Average American said...

Mr. Pink eyes, He needed a few hours doing something that wasn't "above his pay grade"!

BZ, aaah yes, if you can't stand the heat----stay out of the kitchen! Very apropos. Stick a fork in him----he's DONE!

Angie Lee said...

Too bad sticking a fork in him would not correct the "problem."

He should try listening to what those 7-year-old kids have to say: They have more wisdom, honesty, and perspective than the entirety of the sludge that has overcome DC.

Average American said...

Angie Lee, isn't that the sad truth. I hope America can survive the next 4 years. It will be a miracle if we do. So many of the things he has done and will do are going to be irreversable.