On the same day The Crimson publishes a staff ed praising Daschle’s withdrawal, they also publish a comment from me that more or less says those who pushed Daschle out want sick children to die. Could it be that I’m substantially to the left of the rest of the ed board? Perish the thought.
More seriously, I have yet read a convincing explanation for why Daschle’s tax-problems are relevant to his specific job. Ezra’s piece on the problem they create for Obama’s campaign message is right, of course, but in more pure, “will this make Daschle a worse HHS secretary” terms, I’ve yet to hear a cogent argument. Geithner’s withdrawal would have made sense; it’s a bit weird for the nation’s chief tax officers to have tax issues. But HHS?
Anyway, at this point I think putting Podesta at the Office of Health Reform and Kitzhaber at HHS is probably the best option. Sebelius would make a better conduit to Congress than Kitzhaber, but we really need her to run for Brownback’s open Senate seat in 2010. Moreover, if Obama convinces Podesta to join OHR, that’ll be where the work of selling the plan is centered, not HHS, leaving Kitzhaber to play a more administrative role.