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February 5th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

The lessons of Daschle: Can Obama reboot?

Joe Klein
Time.com

In his book The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama offered a paean to the glories of flying on private jets. He lovingly described his first trip on a Citation X: "The plane took off, its Rolls-Royce engines gripping the air the way a well-made sports car grips the road ... I could see how people might get used to this." The punch line of the story was that Obama's staff asked him to give up the practice, which was legal, because he was the Democrats' Senate point man on ethics reform. "It was the right thing to do, but I won't lie," he admitted. "The first time I was scheduled for a four-city swing ... flying commercial, I felt some pangs of regret." The traffic was awful. His plane to Memphis was late. But then he found himself in an intense conversation about stem-cell research with a man suffering from Parkinson's. "These are the stories you miss, I thought to myself, when you fly on a private jet," he concluded.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    I will say it again! POLITICS AS USUAL!! I do not beleive for a second that these people did not know about their tax problems! However, if WE really want to get to the truth lets have EVERY politican, state & federal undergo investigations into their past & current conduct! I wonder who would be left standing? The problem is that we have alot bigger problems right now, don't you think? If we are to beleive that the BEST & ONLY people to help run our country are ELECTED OFFICIALS, then we are doomed! The SMART people in our society are SMART enough to realize they don't want to get involved in politics!

    February 6, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  2. margaret

    The CIA has got us coming and going. They are totally above the law, but they can demolish anybody with an error on his tax form.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  3. margaret

    Wow, here we go again. Tom Daschle gets discredited like anybody who can effectively lead this country out of the mess it's in is going to get discredited. That's what they do. Any flaws that anybody has are carefully filed away by the CIA. If somebody doesn't have any, then some will be manufactured for him. If you read L. Fletcher Prouty you will understand the whole thing

    February 6, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  4. Dr. J Hays

    When is the 'news' community going to get it that Karl Rove is not running the country with Cheney–80% of us want to give another administration a shot at digging us out of our Robber Baron legacy that has gathered steam since Reagan–you all disgust me and people will be in the streets again and not buying is not going to change until you let the new crew try to get a lock on the rampant corruption and greed that has been running the economy. 16 people are holding us up for ransom for the benefit of 1% of the country?–For God's sake, Obamba hasn't even been able to unpack the boxes! Acting as thought two weeks is some kind of political eternity on your part is beyond belief–the president is responding faster to a crashed economy than the previous crew did to a city completely under water–get it?

    February 6, 2009 at 5:23 am |
  5. JQQ -Brea California

    I could not believe the reaction on the Hill....I thought Kerry was going to cry.
    I guess I know what kind of wackos I have running my life.

    Dang, does anyone in Washington pay their taxes???

    February 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  6. David, Indiana

    @Jenny, I feel that more than anything you are afraid there won't be a reboot. It sounds to me like you're requesting the admininstration come and storm the fortress of credibility. In any case, I find it hard to believe that 17 days in his administration the President needs to reboot. He just needs to go on offense more and he's already started that.

    A beautiful post, though.

    February 5, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  7. Robert

    It is hard to believe that the nominees to Presidential Cabinet posts with tax issues actually believe that they can do a fair and just job when they have done the illegal act of not paying their taxes. What is even more horrid is that the President, after learning of their failure to pay taxes, still thinks they should be appointed. This is change? No, what it is is Washington politics as usual. Not change but the “Good ole boys” of yesterday. Mr. President, you are no different than those before you!!! You should be ashamed!!!!

    February 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  8. cmsns

    One man can't save 305M people. But he can initiate policies and practices that actually invest in the U.S. and relieve a "little" of the tax and healthcare burden that supply side has shifted to workers and that is making us uncompetitive and that is a root cause of our economic decline.

    The last 8 years, our wealth has been stolen - gone overseas, gone to the very rich who sit on it or game with it. There is a sensible way to "globalize", and that is by making the American private-sector worker,one of the most productive forces in the world, whole again - with more sensible tax and spend policies. Obama's policies aren't quite there yet, but he is definitely heading us in the right direction.

    February 5, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  9. Ona Marie Brooks

    What is the future of Mr. Daschle and will he be hiring???

    February 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  10. Eric From BC

    Has this generation become so cynical that we can no longer believe that Obama might just be the real deal. What might happen if we accepted that he and his appointees are human and have made, and will make mistakes? I have no fear of those who have admitted they screwed up but only of those who would pretend they have no faults. We often get what we demand in politicians, perfect in public and rotten to the core in private. Perhaps the New Deal might be transparency......

    February 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    I think the idea of splitting the bill into discrete packages to be passed later with a clear agenda for each bill is a really good idea. If that was done and the scope of each bill narrowed, then it would be far easier to identify what needs to be in each bill and what does not (pork). And the bills would be easier for the voters to understand. I realize Obama would like to have something by President's day but if meeting that deadline costs us the effectiveness of the bill then what good is it anyway?

    February 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  12. JC- Los Angeles

    Is Tom Daschle John Thain's dad?

    February 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Credibility? What credibility? He never had any.

    February 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  14. xtina, chicago IL

    By the way, I really think we should just let obama continue his freefall; keep the nominees coming. The more people Obama tries to get into his administration, the more back taxes are collected!

    February 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  15. xtina, chicago IL

    for Obama supporters, there is no deal-breaker. Obama has immunity because the myth is larger than the man. He didn't have convictions; so his worshippers don't have convictions.

    February 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  16. Jenny

    Nope. No reboot now, I'm afraid. Once credibility is lost it is like trying to storm a fortress to regain it. A hard and practically impossible battle unless you are a dewy-eyed star struck woman in love, of course. America is anything but.

    February 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

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