Obama nevertheless did not promise to cut off dealings with Daschle, who can now go back to his lucrative job of representing the health-care industry. In giving up his attempt for Cabinet confirmation, Daschle said, "I remain one of its (health-system reform) most fervent supporters."
Obama has tried to dig himself out of this hole by conceding that he "made a mistake" and "screwed up." But that doesn't address the ethical problem because Obama was insisting on the Daschle appointment even after Obama knew Daschle had failed to pay all his taxes.
Obama didn't admit any mistake about Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, who underpaid his taxes by $35,000 and also employed a housekeeper who stayed in our country as an illegal alien. Geithner only ponied up his unpaid taxes after being nominated for the Cabinet position (which, incidentally, has supervision over the Internal Revenue Service).
Another embarrassment was Nancy Killefer, whom Obama chose to become the first chief performance officer for the United States, a new Cabinet-level position probably as silly as it sounds. Her name had to be pulled because she failed to pay required employment taxes on her household employee.
For the No. 2 official in the Pentagon, Obama chose William J. Lynn III, an ex-lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon. Obama gave himself the right to grant a waiver to his restrictions on hiring lobbyists.
Obama's first pick for secretary of commerce was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who had made news by endorsing Obama for president during the primary campaign (after being expected to endorse Hillary Clinton). Richardson suddenly withdrew his name because of involvement in an ongoing pay-to-play investigation.
We are still waiting for the other shoe to drop in the scandal of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached for trying to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat. We know that Obama was interested in naming his replacement, but we don't know what sort of bargain might have been discussed.
Obama has refused to let Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel testify and also refused to release the tapes of Emanuel's conversations with Blagojevich. That reminds us of Richard Nixon's refusal to release his Watergate tapes.
Americans are justifiably shocked at how Obama has arrogantly selected Cabinet and other high government nominees who failed to abide by the same laws that burden U.S. workers. And Obama's much-touted "transparency" seems to have run into a fog.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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