Ok let me pull an Obama here: “I screwed up!”

I wrote a few days ago that I thought Tom Daschle would be confirmed as HHS Secretary despite his problems. Well, we all know what happened yesterday.

I also said I thought having a Republican as Commerce Secretary would allow the Dems to finally get their filibuster proof senate majority because the NH governor would appoint a Democrat.


Well, there is much to repair for the Obama administration with the stimulus package in danger of not passing in the Senate, a new tax-compliant HHS Secretary to find and the Mid-East always on the verge of exploding. And with the unemployment numbers for January coming out on Friday there will be even more alarming data to chew on. But negative situations create the best Presidents: Lincoln had the Civil War, FDR had the Great Depression and WWII, Kennedy had the Bay of Pigs. If Obama manages to get the US out of its current jam, future bloggers will be adding the following phrase to that list I just presented: “Obama had the Economic meltdown of  2008/2009”.


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.