Well, another Obama nominee ran into trouble over unpaid taxes. According to the AP, “Former Senator Tom Daschle filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.” This is to cover back taxes for 2005, 2006 an 2007. This after he was picked by Obama to head the Health Services Department and once the transition team discovered the discrepancy.  This is the exact same issue that arose for Tim Geithner the now Treasury Secretary. This may be less of an issue for Daschle, a veteran of the Senate that many see as highly competent and a diligent public servant. So I think this issue may be a small setback, but he will be confirmed.

The Obama team is also looking the Commerce Secretary post vacated since Bill Richardson withdrew. Late reports from ABC and CNN are now indicating that Republican Senator Judd Gregg from New Hampshire is the front runner for the post. If this is confirmed on Monday, it would be a case of really smart politics for the Obama administration. Because the departure of Gregg would force New Hampshire governor John Lynch , a Democrat to make an appointment. With the shenanigans of the Franken-Coleman race yet to be resolved in Minnesota, this will bring the Democrats closer to the filbuster-proof 60 seats.

Stay tuned…


Tim Geithner the former President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank  and Obama’s choice for Treasury Secretary is under hot water today and his confirmation appears to be less of a fait accompli than one would have thought a few weeks ago.

Apparently Geithner employed a housekeeper whose immigration papers expired for a few months. He also had some back taxes that he only paid to the IRS after the Obama vetting team discovered the issue. As Treasury Secretary, he will oversee the IRS.

Not a big deal one might say, but there are other issues surfacing about Geithner tenure at the New York Fed. Politico is reporting that under Geithner’s watch, companies like CitiGroup which were supposed to be held to the highest regulatory standard were allowed to  blow “billions on subprime mortgages and other risky deals that ultimately forced the biggest bank rescue in U.S. history.” If he could not keep an eye on these companies in his home state, how would he handle it at the national level?

Will any of this hamper his confirmation? probably not because of the dire economic circumstances. Nobody on The Hill wants the country to go on too long without anybody steering the the economy.  But when added to the Bill Richardson withdrawal and the Blagojevich/Burris shenanigans it presents some distractions that some Republicans could latch on to. 

Then again, maybe the inauguration celebrations will overshadow a lot of this and set the Obama ship smoothly sailing along.