Opinion

Halfway Props for Obama

By Betsy NewmarkGovernment and History Teacher/Blogger

I give Obama credit for doing on all those network and cable interviews yesterday in the midst of the whole fallout from the Daschle debacle and taking blame by telling ABC News "I screwed up." He admitted to FOX News' Chris Wallace that he shouldn't have a double standard on taxpaying.

"We can't send a message to the American people that we've got two sets of rules -- one for prominent people and one for ordinary people," Obama said, defending his administration's standards.

While I think that Americans appreciate a president who takes responsibilities for mistakes, I think that Obama is being a bit disingenuous here. His first instinct was to let these nominations go through. He knew about Geithner and Nancy Killefer 's tax problems before he made the nominations and went ahead anyway. He only found out about Daschle's tax negligence after he made the nomination, but he stuck with Daschle up until yesterday.

[caption id="attachment_6726" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and President Obama (AP file photo)"][/caption]

Earlier this week he was speaking out in defense of Daschle. So he didn't mind the dual message on Monday, but then decided it was unacceptable on Tuesday.

And Geithner has been confirmed and now is the head of the Treasury -- including the IRS.

[caption id="attachment_6013" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (AP file photo) "][/caption]

There is no indication that Obama is going to act on his sudden realization that he shouldn't be sending that message to the American people about the two sets of rules by asking Tim Geithner to step down. So he doesn't want to send that message for Daschle, but doesn't mind that it continues to be sent with Geithner.

So halfway props for Obama. --Yes, he took responsibility which is always refreshing, but he ignored that it was only public outrage and ridicule that made him decide that Daschle's problems were just a bridge too far. And he's not canceling out that message being sent by Geithner's position in his cabinet.

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