As Stuart has noted in the post below, Tom Daschle has withdrawn from consideration as the nominee for for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle’s full statement on his withdrawal is here.
I’m a little torn about all of this, it seems we’re having a spell of nominations with issues, to say the least. I think Daschle would have been great for this post however and I agree with Senator Kerry’s assessment:
“I wish Tom Daschle had not decided to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. While Tom’s decision is a reminder of his loyalty to President Obama and his determination not to be a distraction, this was no ordinary appointment and today is not a good day for the cause of health care reform. Tom brought a unique level of legislative skill and experience to this position in addition to his passion to achieve affordable health care for every American. Tom made it very clear he’d made a mistake and he took responsibility for it. I believe that when the smoke clears and the frenzy has ended, no one will believe that this unwitting mistake should have erased thirty years of selfless public service and remarkable legislative skill and expertise on health care. I know Tom Daschle well. I know his integrity and I respect his heart for this cause, and I know Tom will find other ways to contribute to this central mission.”
UPDATE: There’s more reaction from members of the Senate here.