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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tom Daschle is Out - What happen To The New Era of Responsibility?

Originally Posted on: Tue, 03 Feb 2009
AAPP: What happen to the president Obama's promise to break with the past and the new era of responsibility? Why is the Washington culture of personal riches and buying positions still part of a new Obama administration? As the NY Times notes, "During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.”
Tom Daschle in January at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Yes, Tom Daschle is Out! President Obama acknowledged yesterday that he had "made a mistake" in trying to exempt some candidates for positions in his administration from strict ethics standards and accepted the withdrawal of two top nominees, including former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle, in the first major setback of his young presidency. More HERE

Daschle announcing his withdrawal. "If 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction," he said. "Right now, I am not that leader and I will not be a distraction." More HERE

As reported by The NY Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, Former Senator Tom Daschle has withdrawn from consideration for health and human services secretary over his belated payment of federal taxes. More on how the ex-Senator is the 2nd Obama pick to pull out over tax issues.

AAPP: I have pointed out my concerns about how, former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle was getting "The New Black Politics Pass." It seems that I was not the only one concerned.

I agree with Steve Holland at Reuters, he is one of many former politicians and ex-government officials who have gotten rich by using their influence and powerful connections. It's too bad as a millionaire he failed to pay his taxes.

Now get this, he is not the only one, not paying his taxes, another appointee who wanted an Oversight Role in the Obama administration has withdrawn. Yes, Nancy Killefer withdrew from consideration for chief performance officer after coming forward with concerns about tax returns.

AAPP: I guess there are a few crooks and liars trying to get positions in the new Obama administration. See Who's Who in Barack Obama's White House. It's too bad Obama and others in Washington don't get it. As Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post recently noted: Tom Daschle's problem wasn't that he didn't pay his taxes. It was that he -- along with those who vetted his nomination as health and human services secretary and many of his colleagues in the Senate -- found it perfectly ordinary and acceptable that he would be able to cash in on his time in the Senate by earning more than $5 million over two years as a law-firm rainmaker, equity fundraiser, corporate director and luncheon speaker, all the while being driven around town in a chauffeured town car. Not exactly Cincinnatus returning to the plow. For the American public, Daschle became the latest symbol of everything that is wrong with Washington -- the influence-peddling and corner-cutting and sacrifice of the public good to private interest. Now that this system has let them down, and left them poorer and anxious about the future, people are angry about it and no longer willing to accept the corruption of the public process and the whole notion of public service.

The irony, of course, is that Barack Obama understood all this and tapped into Americans' frustration as the central message of his "change" campaign. But even he, with only four years in Washington, failed to see the depth of the problem or anticipate the ferocity of the backlash. More HERE

Tom Daschle is Out! What happen To The New Era of Responsibility?


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