Filed under: Author's comments | Tags: Barack Obama, Cabinet, Health and Human Services, Politics, Tom Daschle
Former Senator Tom Daschle announced today that he was withdrawing his name from the nomination for the Secretary of Health and Human Services position, as well as stepping down from his place as “White House health care czar.”
Daschle cited a piece he read in the New York Times as part of his decision; it comes after several days’ worth of controversy about his failure to pay taxes on free chauffeur services he received from a friend over the course of several years. There is some conjecture that his decision to withdraw his candidacy may also have been influenced by his close ties to lobbyists in the health care industry, and the damage that might have inflicted on his status and agenda in the Cabinet-level post (especially given Obama’s negative stance on lobbyists in his Administration.)
I am starting to wonder if Daschle may have finally read blogger Matt Taibbi’s diatribe against him in “The Whore Factor,” published on rollingstone.com in early December. Here’s some classic Taibbi: “In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle.” Oh, snap.
Do I think Tom Daschle is a horrible person? No. Do I think he might have done a good job in the position? Yes. Does it bother me that he worked closely with health care lobby firms, and earned a great deal of money from these relationships? Of course. But I am beginning to wonder how many people in Washington–i.e., those with experience— don’t have skeletons in their closets.