Overnight (our time), Tom Daschle’s name was withdrawn from the nomination for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He owed the taxman money to the tune of $140,000 due to knowingly not reporting income. Which makes him twice as much an idiot as I thought he was when he first hit a snag in the nomination. This guy would have been a great man for the job, especially in crafting a universal healthcare policy for the US. Instead, he gets to sit on the sidelines and watch someone else do it.
The worst part of it all is that he knowingly accepted the nomination under false pretenses. All accounts point to Daschle only informing the Obama team of his possible tax problems after the public announcement. Very deciectful, because it meant that the Obama administration was tied to him. When he hit the problems, Obama should have booted him straight away. They are different to Timothy Geithner’s problems – in all seriousness, a lot of middle class and upper class Americans have the same tax issues as Geithner without actually knowing they are faulting tax payments. It’s totally different to Daschle who was working and not paying tax on the income. Idiot.
No one knows who the second choice is for the job. With the appointment of Judd Gregg to Commerce, a Republican, expect a serious Democrat (in terms of being blue through-and-through, and certainly left and not centre-left) to be nominated. Universal healthcare is a traditionally Democrat idea, so it’s got to be someone clearly from the left. It probably won’t be another Senator. Howard Dean got shunted from any positions even with all the great work he did for Obama – his name will probably hit the rumour circuit soon. Beyond that it’s too hard to narrow the field down.
Farewell Tom Daschle! Thanks for ruining the party. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Or the shoes.