Thursday, March 5, 2009

Still More Abandon Obama

Annette Nazareth, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's top pick to be his deputy, withdrew after several interviews and vetting of her financial history, a person familiar with Nazareth's decision said. Sources said no problems with her taxes or other issues arose, but nobody would talk to the press about it.

Nazareth's withdrawal from consideration comes as critics say Geithner's lacks the senior staff he needs to make critical decisions about the financial crisis. Not one of his top 17 deputies has been named, let alone confirmed. Without senior leadership, lower-level Treasury employees can't make decisions or represent the government in crucial conversations with banks and others.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, has also withdrawn his name from consideration as surgeon general of the United States, an administration official said Thursday.

These are merely the latest in a long line of problematic picks to comprise the Obama Administration. Bad news for a presidency that's only 33 days old. Others include:

Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services over "mistakes" on his tax records and his lobbying work. Obama had promised his administration "would not be run by lobbyists."

Nancy Killefer withdrew as Obama's chief performance officer, a new post in the administration. Officials said privately the reason for her withdrawal was "unspecified tax issues." The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.

Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor, announced he was withdrawing from consideration as commerce secretary after an investigation was launched into a state contract that had been given to his campaign donors.

Judd Gregg, Republican US Senator, withdrew as nominee for commerce secretary over "irresolvable conflicts" on issues including Obama's economic stimulus package and the country's census.

By comparison, 12 of President Ronald Reagan's 14 Cabinet members were confirmed within two days of his first inauguration in 1981, while 13 of President Bill Clinton's 15 Cabinet members were confirmed within one day. President George W. Bush's Cabinet took longer to seat, with seven winning confirmation the first day and the rest approved within 11 days.

Welcome to the 44th most ethical administration in American history.

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