NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

More as we hear it...

Update [2009-2-3 12:57:57 by Todd Beeton]:Andrea Mitchell on her conversation with Tom Daschle this morning:

"I read The New York Times this morning and I realized I can't pass health care if I am too much of a distraction. And when I saw what Republicans were saying and read The New York Times I called the president this morning."

I assume he's referring to the article Obama’s Pledge to Reform Ethics Faces an Early Test. I applaud Daschle for putting the new president's reputation and the future of healthcare reform ahead of his own ambitions.

Update [2009-2-3 12:59:33 by Jonathan Singer]: A statement from the President:

"Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country, from his years in the military to his decades of public service. Now we much move forward, with our plan to lift this economy and put people back to work."

Tags: Obama Administration, Tom Daschle (all tags)

Comments

48 Comments

Sad all around

How can anyone think that there's such a thing as a "free ride"?  Daschle ought to have known better.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

I have a better question: how does this harm or help the goal at universal healthcare?

by bruh3 2009-02-03 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Doesn't affect it either way.

Universal healthcare is still an impossible dream, at least for the next decade or so.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

"Sorry, little Johnny -- going to college is an impossible dream, at least for the next decade or so.  Doesn't matter whether you do your homework."

Discuss.

by username 2009-02-03 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

More importantly, I'll never see a black president elected in my lifetime.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

You can see why I feel like I am in the middle of a spin zone. Posters make patently insane statements (a la "no universal healthcare for a decade") based on their own idealogical bent, and try to pass that off as facts about the political process.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

The reality of the political process:  Obama chooses a well-connected "whore" for insurance and pharmaceutical interests.

Shows how much commitment there is to push genuine reform.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Universal healthcare is not just single payer.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

My mistake-- I guess nothing is impossible in America, now that a black man has been elected president in your lifetime.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

This is as witless a response as your initial assertion.  Are you purposely missing the point?

I'll spell it out for you, my friend:

It's not that nothing is possible or that everything is possible, it's that recent events emphasize what has always been true.  We are poorly positioned to predict possibility with anything approaching the confidence you display.

I don't know what is possible or what will actually happen any more than you.  That's why I think your response was either silly or ideologically overdetermined.

Bruh's question stands.  What happens next?  What way forward to universal health care can we imagine?  How then can we advance it?

Either way, your pretense of command of the possible is irrelevant.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Right, and your "black president in my lifetime" response is so witty.

My response stands:  Daschle's withdrawal does not do anything to advance or hinder the path towards universal healthcare.  Put it another way, a "whore" to healthcare and pharmaceutical and insurance interests is probably a bad choice for HHS Secretary; but Obama likes to say that the push for genuine reform will come from him, so whoever sits in HHS is secondary to how Obama will navigate the treacherous path to universal healthcare.

If you have an alternate opinion, now's the time to voice it.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

See my response above.  We've got to be Sidney Hillmans to Obama's FDR, and "the movement" to his LBJ.

Regardless, I think predetermining the possible with bombastic pronouncements that are effectively dismantled by something as un-witty as a reference to the fact of this presidency so many said would never happen is risible.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

I will only withdraw my prediction if Howard Dean becomes HHS Secretary.  Now that's a serious choice.

And by golly, your unwitty reference is so effective, you ought to take it on the road, and use it for every purpose.

by Sieglinde 2009-02-03 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

So Dean is the only game in town?

Another ridiculous proposition.

And that reference worked perfectly in this instance.  Otherwise you'd let it go.  Your absolutism and presumption leaves you zero credibility.

Go take an aspirin.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Single PAYER healthcare is probably over a decade away...   Universal healthcare can easily be passed in the next few years.

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

One hopeful scenario is that the timing of Judd Gregg's nomination for Commerce now positions Obama to make a bold (i.e. more progressive) HHS nomination.  He moved right following the Richardson debacle.  Maybe he can move left following the Daschle debacle.  If he picks someone who lines up with Daschle ideologically, or is to the right of him, it will be a sign that Obama's centrist position on healthcare is likely firmly and sincerely to the right of where we need it to be.  

Obama is a president we are going to need to relate to in the manner FDR instructed Sidney Hillman to use for himself.  We're going to have to make him do things.  But if we're out in front of him appropriately, he'll step up.  Civil rights workers had to get out in front of the Kennedys and LBJ.  We need to do the name here.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

I agree.

I think the time of thinking of Obama as a guy who is going to be bold is over. He's pretty much just a middle of the road guy.

On the stimulus, I thought this would be his first true major test. That if he can show me that will be bold where it counts (his ability to keep his job in 4 years), then I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But every move has been to be cautious.

He repeats the problem regarding the banking proposals that they are leaking. The irony is that his plan for the banking industry is identical to the one proposed by Bush, and rejected- namely the U.S. buying the toxic assets with no way for the tax paper to make money off of the industry when things go well. This again is a guy who is seemingly listening to his advisors as the expense of every other expert telling him that he's headed in the wrong direction. When you got George Soros telling you "this is a mistake" your instince should not be the play it as Washington plays it

I was listeniing last night to a guy from the Financial Times who said that even if all the ducks line up, we are looking at a recession/depression through 2009 and into 2010.Yet, when looking at Obama, despite his claims of urgency, I don't sense it from him. His "laidbackness" bothers me because we need him to be hammering people into changing the course we are on.

Thus, I agree- he's not going to do shit unless we push it because his natural instinct is to coast on being in the middle where he think its safe. I am reminded of this footage I saw of him from his early days in Chicago during a debate for, I believe, his state seat or perhaps something else. He's always been like this to some degree.

My concern is that there is a sizeable portion of his support which is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt to the point that they are going to be uncritical of him in the period of time when they most need to put preassure on him.

What I mean by this is that he's got a good 2 years to get good policies that will make a difference out there. Yet, this honeymoon itself means people are not being openly critical of pushing him to do more on a scale that I think this situation needs.

I see a lot of rationalization of his tactics and strategies. For example, no one wants to admit as far as I can tell on a consistent basis that the problem with the stimulus began with a) the size Obama proposed in the first place and b) his focusing on bipartisanship rather than effectiveness of plan. Yet, the honeymooners will ignore the effectiveness of plan to focus on "well let's wait and see." The problem is this is the critical time so we can't wait and see.

Going back to the interview from last night- the interviewee was saying similar. He added that everyone has hope for Obama, but the real issue is that the problems he faces would be daunting fo the most experienced leadership, and so far he's not being inspired in his leadership approach. He's not adapting. He's just approaching this from the way he campaign rather than from the reality on the ground now. So, we hope, but there are doubts.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

My perspective is a little different from yours on one point.  I am not actually disappointed or frustrated with Obama, partially because of my expectations.  The models of FDR and LBJ, among our most progressive presidents, are significant here.  Obama resembles them much more than he does Teddy Rooseveldt.  Neither of the former were anti-establishment crusaders.  Yet they were philosophically and politically open to bold progressive approaches.  The 'ideal' president I'd concoct in my basement would have very little shot of getting a candidacy off the ground.  A movement, maybe.  So I'm with you that this presidency requires sustained engagement.  But the tenor of my response is a little milder.  

I think the worst we're going to get from Obama is something like the better aspects of the Clinton presidency.  And I don't think that would be sufficient.  But I am optimistic that he has a significantly higher ceiling than Clinton with regard to progressive policy initiatives.  Let Obama try to deal with republicans pragmatically and plumb the depths of their anti-pragmatic and anti-empirical ideological entrenchment.  In the process, I think he exhausts some of their political capital.  While you are correct that this is a crucial moment, it's also part of his learning curve and positioning.  Though we need the best possible solution immediately, we will likely get less ideal versions that may ultimately create opportunities to improve them.  But those will depend upon us, and more upon the most progressive voices in our party.

I wish Paul Wellstone was standing outside the West Wing with a bullhorn.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

I am sorry- I think in my ramblings that I did make it clear. I agree with your position that you state.

I like the quote I first read at Glenn Greenwald's site, and I believe it should be the mantra of everyone:

"FDR was, of course, a consummate political leader. In one situation, a group came to him urging specific actions in support of a cause in which they deeply believed. He replied: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2 009/01/13/obama/

My concern is not, in other words, about Obama. It's that I am not certain many appreciate their part in keeping him accountable to this approach.

by bruh3 2009-02-03 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

I was kinda on the fence about Daschle until I read Greenwald's devastating takedown, which I found it pretty hard to argue with.

Daschle was sorta in the Bill Richardson category, except moreso, in the sense that he made a major political effort on Obama's behalf and was entitled to cash a chit in return.  It wasn't really an option for Obama to do anything other than offer him an appointment, regardless of what turned up in the vetting process.  But it's nice to see that the gratitude only extends so far, because at the end of the day we need to actually govern the country, not just repay political favors.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Damn. :(

by Nathan Empsall 2009-02-03 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

So much for an airtight vetting process.

by cire32 2009-02-03 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Re: the update, are we really supposed to believe this was Daschle's call, rather than Obama's?  Do you really believe that, Jon?

A top-level political veteran seriously decided to drop out of contention for a Cabinet post because he read the NY Times?  "I didn't want to become too much of a distraction" is right up there with "I want to spend more time with my family" in terms of political cliches that no one believes.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

True... but the majority of the public who only tunes in for 2 months every 4 years either doesn't care or will take it on its face value.    

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Right, but I hold the front-page posters (even Jerome) to a little higher standard than that!

by Steve M 2009-02-03 08:54AM | 0 recs
I do believe this

Obama wasn't ready to make that call based on what Daschle did wrong--he only made the call after reading the slant the NYT put on the story.

He must be worried about the Villagers.

by desmoinesdem 2009-02-03 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Not to be snarky, but I hope President Obama doesn't see this as another opportunity to appoint a Republican to his Cabinet. :)

by Comic Book Guy 2009-02-03 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Come on, Pres.  Rock our worlds.  Secretary Limbaugh.

by Strummerson 2009-02-03 08:02AM | 0 recs
Well, he certainly knows a lot about drug therapy?

Self-medication, Oxy, Viagra...

Rush knows it all from personal experience!!

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-03 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Mr. Daschle had to withdraw as it was hurting the process.  However, he is not the only one with tax problems.  There are many silent Pots in the Senate calling the kettle black.

by bacalove 2009-02-03 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Exactly -- this is utterly surreal.  Anyone who is rich, powerful, and connected enough to be in the Senate or Cabinet will have enormously complicated finances.  It's no surprise that they or their accountants blow made a mistake at some point.  Heck, I've probably screwed up my taxes in some way before, and mine are simple.

by username 2009-02-03 08:05AM | 0 recs
Todd's update

And/or their editorial calling for him to step aside.

I think this is all an elaborate and nefarious plot by Howard Dean.  Go, Howard!

by username 2009-02-03 08:03AM | 0 recs
is he also out as White House adviser?

or just as HHS secretary?

by desmoinesdem 2009-02-03 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: is he also out as White House adviser?

Good point...  

by yitbos96bb 2009-02-03 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: is he also out as White House adviser?

Out as both.

by jsfox 2009-02-03 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Is there pressure to appoint Dean?

by bruh3 2009-02-03 08:09AM | 0 recs
Howard Dean for HHS

Draft Howard Dean Now! The Hell with Rahmbo!

by barack to the future 2009-02-03 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

"He is not executing it"?

Is that your typo or the White House's?  I think that should read "excusing."

by mistersite 2009-02-03 08:11AM | 0 recs
Vetting

I have to say, Obama's vaunted "vetting" process has proven to be terrible.

by DaveOinSF 2009-02-03 08:17AM | 0 recs
Join the Dean For HHS Facebook group

http://tinyurl.com/dn4kx8

by Hatch 2009-02-03 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Daschle's a good guy, despite his lobbyist connections. There are not many other candidates with the political stature to push health care reform through congress.

With Daschle out and Kennedy incapacitated it looks like Baucus will be the driving force, and most of the initiative will come from Congress.

by souvarine 2009-02-03 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

"Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not executed [sic] it, nor do I."

So I'm guessing this is no longer operable...

by DaveOinSF 2009-02-03 08:20AM | 0 recs
I bet the first call he made

"Hey can I get my car and driver back?"

by RichardFlatts 2009-02-03 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

Jonathan, I think Daschle might have referred to today's NYT Editorial which directly called for his withdrawal: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/opinio n/03tue1.html

by GermanDeaniac 2009-02-03 08:44AM | 0 recs
I want the doctor IN

From here on out 100 percent of my focus will be to get the guy who successfully performed a spine transplant on the Democratic party - a guy whom I happen to know to be free of the tangles and snares - to be head of Dept. of Health and Human services.

Howard Dean!

by Trey Rentz 2009-02-03 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

This is so dissapointing..WHO IS CHECKING THESE GUys OUT??? Is it so shard to ensure they have paid their taxes?

by obama4presidente 2009-02-03 09:51AM | 0 recs
Do You Hitchhike?

If the value of free limosine service is taxable income, then the value of free rides as a hitchhiker is also taxable income. So has anyone ever hitchhiked before? Did you report the value of the free ride to the IRS? Given today's cab fares, a value of a ride from suburbia to downtown is about $40. Imagine that you hitchhike to and back from work everyday for 300 days per year (my uncle did). That means you have a taxable income of $24,000. Oh boy, my uncle is in trouble. (My uncle don't even make $24,000 per year - if you don't consider the rides).

by Zzyzzy 2009-02-03 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: NBC News: Tom Daschle Withdraws

If you belong to a party that wastes political capital on focusing more on tax increases (i am not referring to the Obama types who are more open about tax cuts, but to people like John Edwards ), you are opening yourself to this kind of trivial scandals blowing up.

Amazing how my fellow Democrats like to lecture others on taxes, but we have too many high placed officials in our party sloppy with taxes. The worst was Tim the Treasury Guy.  

by Pravin 2009-02-03 03:39PM | 0 recs

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