Lingering income tax problems force Obama to accept Daschle withdrawal as HHS nominee

SHARE Lingering income tax problems force Obama to accept Daschle withdrawal as HHS nominee

WASHINGTON–The Obama White House, elected to office on an anti-lobbyist, anti-business as usual campaign, was forced Tuesday to dump former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services nominee–and overall health czar–after his income tax problems became a major distraction.

“I accept his decision with regret,” Obama said in a statement. Daschle had several tax issues that derailed his nomination–including not reporting as income a car and driver provided by a friend–as well as disclosures after nomination of big earnings from the very health care companies he will be dealing with as part of the Obama administration. Not a formal lobbyist, Daschle leverged his government cache to each at least $5 million in four years.

Daschle, an early supporter of Obama, said in a statement he was withdrawing in order to “not be a distraction.”

Said Obama, “Tom made a mistake which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I.”

LINGERING QUESTION: How did this escape the political and legal Obama vetting teams?

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