WASHINGTON--Once news surfaced that former Fannie Mae chief Jim Johnson got a sweetheart mortgage deal from Countrywide Financial--Johnson's days were numbers as the Obama campaign's top vice presidential vetter.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Sen.Barack Obama (D-Ill.)--who at first downplayed any inquiries about the appointment of Johnson--accepted Johnson's resignation on Wednesday afternoon. Appointing Johnson in the first place--the ultimate Washington insider--was a rare Obama campaign mistake.
In a statement, Obama said, “Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept. We have a very good selection process underway, and I am confident that it will produce a number of highly qualified candidates for me to choose from in the weeks ahead. I remain grateful to Jim for his service and his efforts in this process."