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Obama's Daschle debacle. What happened to the "no drama" team?

| 12 Comments


WASHINGTON --President Obama suffered a major embarrassment Tuesday when he lost two nominees -- most notably Tom Daschle -- because of their income tax problems.

The Obama White House came to office pledging to have high ethical standards and change the Washington-insider culture. It's just baffling that the Daschle flap was allowed to develop.

What happened to the "no-drama" team?

The Daschle episode provided another vivid demonstration of the Obama MO: Faced with a fixable, damaging crisis, his advisers prefer to cut their losses, take the PR hit and try to move ahead. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave no ground during Tuesday's briefing, when reporters peppered him with questions about the Daschle debacle.

Obama demagogued against lobbyists and the Washington revolving door during his campaign. Now a string of folks have won appointments even though they have outstanding tax issues, and more than a dozen lobbyists won waivers from his self-imposed rules that were designed to limit the hiring of lobbyists in the White House.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was lucky enough to go first and was confirmed. Daschle and top appointee Nancy Killefer, who also had tax issues, pulled out.

Either the Obama vetting team knew about Daschle's tax lapses and didn't realize how politically damaging they would be -- or they didn't figure out that he had a problem. Either alternative is not good.

In unfortunate timing, the White House had lined up five major television anchors for Oval Office interviews Tuesday afternoon to help Obama sell the faltering stimulus plan. Of course they asked about Daschle.

How many ways can Obama say he made a mistake?

At least five: To CBS' Katie Couric; Fox News' Chris Wallace; NBC's Brian Williams; CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Charles Gibson.

• • Obama told Cooper: "Yes. I think I made a mistake. And I told Tom that. I take responsibility for the appointees."

• • "I think everybody makes mistakes," he told Gibson.

• • "But I don't want my administration to be sending a message that there are two sets of rules," Obama told Couric. "One for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes every day. I think I messed up, I screwed up, in not recognizing the perception that even though this is an honest mistake . . ."

• • "And, you know, so I consider this a mistake on my part and one that I intend to fix and correct and make sure that we're not screwing up again," he told Wallace.

So mistakes were made.

No one around Obama saw this coming?

12 Comments

WHAT HAPPENED TO FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE
AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF, I THINK THE GOP HAS
SOUR GRAPES SYNDROME, FIRST THEY ARE UPSET ABOUT
ALL THE NICE PEOPLE THAT SHOWED UP ON THE MALL
FOR THE NEW PRESIDENT'S INAGURATION, AND THE NEW
PRESIDENT ISN'T PLAYING POLITICS THE OLD STYLE
WAY, SO THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE HIS FIRST 100 DAYS
A MEMORABLE ONE, THAT'S WHY IF YOU WATCH T.V.
A FEW SHOWS HAVE BEEN NAMED THE FIRST 100 DAYS,
ARE YOU CATCHING ON YET, PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS GIVEN
MORE INTERVIEWS IN TWO WEEKS THAN THE OTHER MAN
DID IN 4 YEARS, HE TOLD EVERYONE HE WANTED THE
NEW STIMULUS PLAN READY THE DAY HE WAS SWORN IN,
BUT THE GOP IS PLAYING POLITICS WITH MAIN STREET,
PANASONIC JUST LAYED OFF 15,000 WORKERS, AND THE
GOP HAS TO GO TO RUSH AND HANNITY FOR PERMISSION
TO BE BIPARTISAN, THE ECONOMY IS BROKE, PEOPLE
ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, THE CAR INDUSTRY IS REALLY
SUFFERING, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A REAL PRESIDENT,
AND SOME JUST DON'T LIKE A REAL PERSON DOING A
GREAT JOB, BUT WHAT GOES AROUND WILL COME BACK
AROUND, THE GOP'S HANDS AREN'T AS CLEAN AS THEY
WANT EVERYONE TO THINK! STAY TUNED!


Was this a calculated move on the part of the Republicans to make President Obama and team look bad? Dascle is too smart to not have told the President ahead of time. I hope I'm wrong.

Hey - this is the man who ran on "superior judgment," remember? And Daschle knew he had a problem since at least June....

'No one around Obama saw this coming?' what!?

did he not say during the inaugaration and his ENTIRE campaign, 'government is not perfect and i will make mistakes.'

what exactly are you pointing out? that he delivered on a promise. nitpicking is childish, accountability is important and i think that this author like many others in the country need to understand the subtle but substantial difference between the two.

complete authoritarian behavior {putin's administration in russia) is wrought with as much peril as too much leeway (bush's administration for the last 8 years). political balance is needed in this country, period.

There is no such thing as a no drama team when dealing with various men and personalities!

Brian Williams asked President Obama is change too hard, which is ludicrous. Of course change is hard and difficult. This President Obama has always said. However, the seeds of change are being sowed. The Obama Administration’s plan to cap executive salaries and his willingness to say “I screwed up”, is change we can believe in, don’t let the GOP tell you otherwise, as they do not want change!

The GOP pretend to care so deeply about the stimulus, when it is patently obvious and a derelict of their duty to the public, that the GOP are working furiously for the next elections and not the peoples’ economic crisis looming so large at this time. Some Republican Pundits charged with this task, call the Stimulus a stinking corpse, before it is even born, instead of what it is — a valuable work in progress for this country.

Like any creation, in the early stages, it is chaos and not fully formed, such as a fetus, a painting, any work of art, and yet the artist ploughs on knowing the beauty to be eventually created. Why in the world, would some Pundits criticize the early form instead of giving support, is beyond the pale, especially when they know to publically criticize it is to get the ball rolling to derail it. May be they do not love this country more than their party affiliation! These pundits sit in their high-paying jobs, so lofty, and pick apart every little thing someone says or does, Wears…., with nothing good to say, like their word is God or gold — as they no longer report the news but give their Opinions about the news. There was a time when we were taught as Americans, if you have nothing good to say about anyone, say nothing at all. We have lost that. These Pundits are a part of the problem and not the solution.

At this critical stage in our rapidly-crumbling economy, it would seem that the Republican Senators would do everything they can to do something, to tell the American people, I am on your side, and not always to quickly say no to the middle class and the little people; no to schools, education, infra structure, green jobs, all of which have too long been denied and neglected and Yet, always yes to the Special Interest Groups, to wars, to big oil and their tax breaks.

It is a sad fact that for average American citizens, the GOP is becoming the party of NO! For Gosh Sake, they turn to Joe the Plumber for advice and direction!!! We can not depend on the GOP to help us, or to be honest and ethical. They cry out for "instant" change from a dogmatic beauracray set in its own ways by men who do not want to lose their power. Does one get a college degree in a week, a month or a year? Does a seed develop into a plant overnight? President Obama has been in office a little over two weeks and they pretend they want miracles. It has been over 2000 years since Jesus Christ asked us to love one another, to do good to one another, to be our brother's/sister's keeper. Grounds have been made, yet we have a long way to go, for change does not come easy.

In 2010, we will know what to do! Vote Democratic....


I have always thought that Obama was a snake oil salesman. These so called slips just reinforce my opinion

The 'no drama' team is FORGETTING the lessons Bill Clinton learned the hard way--DON'T DROP YOUR NOMINEES---SUPPORT THEM. The carping by the Repugs should have been REPULSED--not reinforced.
Hillary woulda known that one. I hope Obama starts swinging for his nominees--because we coulda used Daschle to get health care for ALL AMERICANS--kids first--but not all kids, right?

WELL ALL THOSE YOUNGSTERS HE JUST INSURED, DON'T
THINK HE IS A SNAKE OIL SALESMAN, HE IS A REAL
PRESIDENT, A DOER, HE IS GETTING IT DONE, AND
AFTER THE STIMULUS BILL PASSES, AMERICANS WILL
GET BACK TO WORK, AND THE ECONOMY WILL IMPROVE!
THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ISN'T
BLOWING SMOKE UP YOUR YOU KNOW WHAT, HE IS TELLING
IT LIKE IT IS AND MAKING AMERICA A GREAT PLACE
FOR EVERYONE TO LIVE!
YOUR OPINION DOESN'T COUNT AND NEITHER DOES RUSH
OR HANNITY OR ANYONE ELSE PLAYING MONDAY MORNING
QUARTERBACK!
STAY TUNED!

BY THE WAY, HELP ME, I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!!

TO THE PERSON WHO IS USING MY NAME TO BLOG, SHAME
ON YOU, I USE PHIL SMITH JR, THE ABOVE COMMENT
WASN'T MADE BY AT 11:06, GROW UP AND GET A LIFE!
YOU NEED HELP, YES YOU HAVE FALLEN AND YOU NEED
TO GET UP!

First of all, Phil: your Caps Lock seems to be broken.

Secondly, it is so sad how transparent people are in their blind following of one party over another. Obama screws up and we are supposed to "give him a break" ... did McCain get a break over his choice of Palin? Obama has shown poor judgment already (which was predicted) and we are to give him a pass because showing his poor judgment and "politics as usual" is "NITPICKING"!?! I give up. Politics is a joke, no matter who is voted in. I have officially lost hope ... thanks a lot Obama.

YOUR OPINION DOESN'T COUNT AND NEITHER DOES RUSH
OR HANNITY OR ANYONE ELSE PLAYING MONDAY MORNING
QUARTERBACK!

Typical dem hypocrisy. Dems are the most divisive and vitriolic segment of the population.

True story.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 4, 2009 8:45 AM.

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