The More Things Change
It is true that the Obama campaign, transition and administration have all been shaped by the electorate’s overriding desire for change, but today it sure felt like the business-as-usual inertia of Washington politics was starting to set in early. Not one, but two Obama nominees were forced to withdraw their nominations due to tax problems, a classic vetting slip-up that has spelled doom for more than one nominee in previous administrations, and hurt the current administration's credibility on the issue of bringing change to the ingrained customs and norms governing politics inside the beltway.
In Tom Daschle’s case, the old school, revolving door flavor of his recent financial windfall in the private sector was also starting to make some folks on both sides of the aisle a bit queasy. Daschle was initially seen as the right person for the complex job of spearheading health care reform, but these confirmation episodes take on a momentum of their own. When problems arise, you can count on whichever party is in the minority to chant “double standard,” with increasing frequency and volume, as the media barrage inevitably heightens in intensity to a fever pitch. An old political hand like Daschle can spot this kind of death spiral trajectory as it starts to take shape.

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