Along with Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner and Nancy Killefer, plus Joe Biden, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and all the president’s vexing vetters, I also must share some the blame for the sudden puncture and deflation of Barack Obama’s Glorious Expectations Balloon.
President Obama greeted Thomas Daschle’s decision to withdraw as nominee to be secretary of Health and Human Services with "sadness and regret" — and surely with something approaching relief. The tax problems of Obama’s nominees were threatening to become the stuff of late night comedy. And they were doing nothing for the president’s credibility on his high-minded new ethics standards.
It wasn’t so long ago that Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, talking about hope and change, about the purity he would bring to Washington. A true believer could maybe imagine a movie musical and a melodious voice singing, "The hills are alive with the sound of music … "
Now comes reality, governing, and two cabinet nominees who evaded taxes, one nominee faced with corruption allegations and another nominee who was going to keep an eye on government performance but who apparently neglected to keep an eye on her own.