In the wake of his recently-revealed tax problems, Secretary of Health and Human Services Nominee Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from consideration.
On the one hand, Daschle’s connections on the Hill would have gone a long way toward shepherding universal health care through Congress.
On the other hand, the fact that he would be the second cabinet secretary with tax problems would–and already has–cast a pall over the Obama administration. Plus, Daschle has connections to lot of pharmaceutical companies, which may have ended up biasing universal health care legislation in their favor.
Daschle’s departure represents the loss of both a monumental asset and monumental liability. Hopefully, whoever Obama now picks for that position will be able to be as effective as Daschle without any of his baggage.