Yes, the whole Daschle thing has been a mess, and as many have already reported, he finally withdrew his name from consideration today.
So, what did President Obama do? He had an interview with Anderson Cooper and said he "screwed up." Yes, he said that. And he also said:
"'And, I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again.'"
And he was even more specific than that -
"'Ultimately, I campaigned on changing Washington and bottom-up politics,' Obama said. 'And I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards -- one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes.'"
What a refreshing change - a President who admits he made a mistake, and even explains why it was a mistake and shows that he understands why it looked bad. I find this very encouraging. Here is the interview:
In eight years, W never admitted anything he did was a mistake. Oh yes, at the very end he said he shouldn't have done the "Mission Accomplished" thing. Made him look bad, you see. And that flyover thing during Katrina - bad PR move, but what else could he do? Not really his fault. Sending thousands of our soldiers to die in Iraq when it turned out there were no WMDs? Nope, that wasn't a mistake either.
Now we have a president who takes responsibility. What a concept. It doesn't mean that he won't make another mistake; but at least it probably won't be the same mistake. (I'll bet no new nominees will have any back tax issues).
And it may also mean that if he realizes a position he has taken is wrong - like, I don't know, say, on gay marriage? - he would admit it and try to rectify it.
So far, anyway, it looks as if this is how President Obama operates. That is my hope, at least. And since it's only been two weeks since the inauguration, I think we can continue to hope!
And this certainly is an improvement over what we had for the past eight years.