Ed Morrissey says it best:
At some point, this nomination has to be more trouble than it’s worth. After all, no one will buy the notion that Daschle’s “uniquely qualified” for the HHS position as some did with Geithner at Treasury. The HHS position is a payback for Daschle’s support in the primaries, and Obama has a perfect excuse now to dump Daschle regardless of loyalty. By keeping his tax problems secret, he’s proven rather untrustworthy.
And that gets to the heart of why the Senate should have rejected Geithner and why they should refuse to confirm Daschle. It’s a matter of trust. Neither man shows a compelling reason why they should have the public’s trust placed in them. Both men will run vast bureaucracies and enforcement mechanisms, Geithner especially. The public has the right to demand people with proven accountability, not people who blame their accountants — or their accounting programs.
Unfortunately, the public hasn’t demanded it, in part because the press has been willing to portray these as “glitches”. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) noted the double standard of the press in covering the Obama administration and its obvious ethical issues, and wondered if a Bush nominee with even one-tenth the tax issues of Daschle would have gotten such supportive coverage. If Daschle had been Republican, we would have seen screaming headlines pointing out how out of touch the free limo service would be for a nation struggling with economic crisis, and how Bush did nothing but appoint fat cat lobbyists to positions of power. The silence along those lines with Daschle and Obama speaks loudly.
And this is supposed to be the “accountability presidency”? I don’t think so.