According to several reputable news sources, including CBS and the NYTimes, Tom Daschle has withdrawn the Obama nomination for secretary of Health and Human Services. This comes not long after it has been discovered that Daschle failed to pay monies owed to the IRS.
It also comes on the heels of the appeal of Senator Jim DeMint to Barack Obama to withdraw his nomination of Tom Daschle. According to Fox News, Tuesday Senator DeMint remarked “It’s very unfortunate with Tom Daschle that this has occurred, but the president needs to lead. He needs to step in here and he needs to withdraw this nomination.”
Fox News also reports that a New York Times editorial voiced complaints about Timothy Geithner who was allowed to be confirmed in his position of treasury secretary, despite the fact that he also faced tax issues.
Timothy Geithner and Tom Daschle are not the only ones in a similar predicament. Nancy Killefer has also withdrawn her nomination by Obama. She was to be the first performance officer in the White House.
So, what reason did Tom Daschle give for withdrawing his nomination by Barack Obama for secretary of Health and Human Services? According to the NYTimes, he states that he is not one of the leaders with full faith from Congress and therefore would be a distraction.
His reason sounds very similar to those of Nancy Killefer who stated in her withdrawal announcement that the issue with her taxes “could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid. Because of this I must reluctantly ask you to withdraw my name from consideration.”
A distraction? It likely is true that the respective tax situations of both Killefer and Daschle would draw some attention. However, have they not drawn attention already? As I write this piece, both of their names are in the top 100 Google search results for the day. By withdrawing their nominations from Barack Obama, Daschle and Killefer already have drawn attention to themselves.
If a distraction is their only or main reason for resigning, I say they may have been better off just sticking with their nomination spots. A much better reason for withdrawal of the Obama nominations, in my opinion, is one that Senator DeMint gave in his plea to Obama. He said “The average American would likely face criminal charges with tax evasion of this size, yet he did not address the issue until he was nominated.”