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Daschle Withdraws from Consideration for HHS Secretary

February 3, 2009 News 11 Comments

Tom Daschle has withdrawn from being considered as HHS secretary, citing his desire to avoid distractions over his failure to pay taxes previously owed. President Obama said, "I accept his decision with sadness and regret."

Daschle was quoted as telling a journalist this morning, "I read the New York Times this morning, and I realize that I can’t pass health care if I’m too much of a distraction."

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Daschle could have moved some legislation – it is too bad. On the other hand, not like a water bong at a college party – he showed big league bad judgement on the taxes.

  2. Gaithner got sworn in despite his tax gaffe…at least Daschle won’t. How can people who have flaunted the system like these two become part of an administration we elected on “changing the Washington insiders”? What happened to zero tolerance? Right now, we’re at 50% tolerance, a losing formula in any medium.

    Whatever someone’s qualifications, and maybe Mr. Daschle’s would have been exactly what was needed in HHS….if he acts above the law, he’s not worthy. President Obama needs to set the right tone. And nominating tax cheats, however “inadvertent”, is not it. Lets hope this is the end of it.

  3. While stealing $140,000 from the tax payors is considered small potatoes here in Illinois, what is the dollar threshold that causes concern in Washington? I guess the number is somewhere between Geithner and Daschle.

  4. This is NO surprise!

    The only thing remarkable about this is that it took so long for Mr. Daschle to withdraw.

    This should have been a “no brainer” from the start. We can’t have “a new era” and “business as usual” at the same time in the same administration.

  5. It is nice to see a politician take responsibility for his actions. I can’t beleive that Treasury Secretary Geithner was confirmed with his history… it would be like Daschle having commited Medicare fraud and then getting confirmed as HHS Secretary.

    If Geithner has any self respect at all (haha funny) he will resign.

  6. I’m glad he’s gone, but I doubt it was any sense of responsibility on his part. More likely Obama sat him down and said, “Look, I just spent a bunch of political capital to get Geithner rammed down their throats I can’t do the same thing for you. Go away for now, we’ll find you something.”

    Or words to that effect…

  7. LOL!!. And then today we had Nancy Killefer who withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government. Wonder what would result if all these guys/gals who hang out in Washington were audited for taxes…probably fund a small stimulus package!

  8. Can’t believe Daschle was even under consideration…

    – Mayo Clinic COI
    – health care lobbyist
    – wife Linda made last-minute moves to avoid COI
    – Tax cheat hypocrite

    He’s also way too bland to rally a skeptical public that govt. run health care is a great idea. Pres. Obama needs a cross between Henry “the sky is falling” Paulson and Bill “is means is a liar” Clinton to pitch the plan. Maybe he can ask Don Draper while Mad Men is on hiatus…

  9. His book “Critical” is actually interesting – albeit a little vague as to how a “Federal Healthcare Reserve” willl fix healthcare.

    Some CIO’s are saying healthcare needs social re-engineering which is also way too simplistic – in Amercia our capitalist system is about individuals finding and aligning incentives and value structures. After all the political battles have been exhausted that’s where the real work will be.

    I will admit healthcare probably needs better policy, structure and over-sight…

  10. Daschle’s withdrawal opens up an opportunity for Glen Tullman to get back into the mix. I’ll be interested to see if this happens.

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