Back in June, when Barack Obama chose the man he wanted to vette his potential candidates for vice president, his choice had to quit within days over his involvment in a scandal involving improper loans from Countrywide at a time when the mortgage crisis was just becoming apparent. Since then Bill Richardson had to withdraw as the nominee for Commerce Secretary over an FBI investigation into improper use of PAC contributions, Geithner had to ride out the revelations that he hadn't paid $36,000 in back taxes (not a good thing for a Secretary of the Treasury), and now Tom Daschle has to deal with a tax issue before his own confirmation hearings.
None of this bodes well for Obama or the country or the Democrats since it reveals a pattern of, not just sloppiness which is bad enough, but in keeping with the entire conduct of the Democratic primaries and convention, it reveals an arrogance and willingness among certain people to disregard not just rules of conduct but laws.
The latest embarrassment has come today now that Nancy Killefer, another Obama appointee who was introduced with much fanfare whose job was going to be scrub the federal budget line by line to get rid of waste has withdrawn her name from consideration with no reason given.
It is probably not going to stop.It is this pattern of sloppiness, and a not ready for prime time candidate that has been apparent with Obama from the beginning. And now that the New York Times editorial board is calling for Daschle to withdraw as one problematic cabinet choice too many, the bloom may be off the rose for those, the New York Times included, who blathered about Obama during the primaries about the change and high standards he supposedly represented.
The second pattern that has become apparent is that Obama has been, at least so far, and I expect this to continue, nothing more than what he has always been, a speech maker, not a policy maker, and for many not even a very good speech maker at that, though certainly many people who supported him did so as a result of his speeches,( including the New York Times) that many others considered silly and nonsensical.
It was reported last night on CNN that the current stimulus package has been forged by Democrats in the congress with virtually zero input from Obama. In other words he has absolutely nothing to with what's in it and a spokesman for Obama acknowledged that. This might the reason we see Obama shuttling back and forth from meetings with Democrats to meetings with Republicans where he comes out and says the thinks the Republicans have some good ideas ( I for one agree -- I've heard a lot more good ideas and ideas that make sense coming from the Republicans than I do the Democrats).and then has to go back and try to get the Democrats to drop aspects of the bill the Republicans won't support, then go back to the Republicans with the new version.
In other words, everything is off to a bad start for Obama and the Democrats. Yes Obama signed an order to close Guantanamo within a year, and reversed some Bush Administration abuses by Executive Order but it should be pointed out that Obama has so far ducked the single most important Executive Order he could issue -- reversing Bush's ban on stem cell research and his comment that he wants to leave it to Congress is pure Obama -- if its controversial why stick his political neck out? Let the Congress pass a law and he'll sign it when he could simply reverse the Bush ban himself with the stroke of a pen.
With all of the cabinet level embarrassments in the vetting process occurring on a daily basis and Republican rejection of the stimulus bill ( and for some very good reasons). Obama has lost all traction and if it continues, Obama's statement the other day that if the stimulus doesn't work his will be a one term presidency could be Obama laying the groundwork for yet another pattern fulfilling itself - the one where once elected, Obama doesn't get much done and is on to the next thing.
NOTE: Since the posting this morning, Daschle has withdrawn his name as HHS Secretary, the third Obama nominee to have to withdraw their name and the fourth high ranking Obama appointment to have had questionable tax, ethical or legal problems to answer for in the first two weeks of his administration.
And this from the candidate both he and his supporters said was ready to be President on day one. Maybe he was ready on day one. But what about the other 1,459 days?
Kliff Notes. - Sarah Kliff at Vox gives us the break down of the Better Health Care Reconciliation Act or whatever the fuck the Republicans are calling it these days. Let...
1 day ago