Feature

Tom Daschle's effect on Obama

Appointees who forgot to pay taxes upset Obama's previously smooth-running machine

Tom Daschle has just humbled President Obama, said Charles Babington of the Associated Press in Yahoo News. “Obama's rocket ride to the White House” and “his smooth, I-don't-sweat style” made him seem invincible. But Daschle’s withdrawal as health-secretary-designate over tax troubles left Obama with nothing to say but, “I screwed up.”

Too bad it took a "cascade of appointees who 'forgot' to pay taxes" to shake Obama’s arrogant attitude, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. Americans have been betrayed by bankers and the Bush administration, and it was beginning to look like Obama thought the lofty standards he's been lecturing us about didn't apply to his "charmed circle." Some debut.

Daschle got out in time to spare the president from "a bipartisan populist revolt," said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. But not before shining a light on the riches that the president's would-be Health and Human Services secretary piled up working for health-care companies. "So much for promising to vanquish the lobbyists."

Okay, so the "seemingly well-oiled" Obama juggernaut isn't humming as smoothly as usual, said The Washington Post in an editorial. But Daschle will soon be a footnote. Meanwhile, Obama's selection of a real conservative—Sen. Judd Gregg—as commerce secretary showed that the president is open to bipartisan solutions to old problems, as promised. 

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