You will recall that he was the administration's original nominee to fill the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was to be charged with shepherding health care reform through Congress.
He has made serious health care reform harder by his failure to pay his taxes and lying about it and by taking money from the health care industry. His self-centered narrow-minded actions have the potential to really hurt America by making health care reform much harder.
I was really happy when he was announced, after getting over it not being Hillary tasked to run the health care reform effort. He was Senate Majority Leader, so he knows the Senate and Senators well. He wrote a book about health care reform, his views were sensible and he seemed serious about it all. In short, a wildly excellent pick.
This all went to hell in a hand basket several weeks ago. As you probably know, Daschle realized several months ago that he owed back taxes as a result of not having declared that he received a car and driver. He knew for certain he owed the taxes in the middle of 2008, but he didn't pay the taxes until months later. Daschle's not real rich, but he's made good money since he left the Senate. Assuming he had the cash to scrape together, and he surely did, his not paying his taxes immediately would be disappointing if he were merely a private citizen. Once he realized he was being considered for a cabinet position, he should, of course, have paid the taxes THAT DAY.
Worse than all of the tax follies is his taking money from the health care industry. This made Obama's defending him all the harder. Thanks, Tom. Thanks heaps.