Misjudgments lead to misgivings

The mishandling of cabinet appointees better not be reflective of Obama decision-making.

The Obama administration, though celebrated upon its arrival, has been no stranger to its own set of issues in its full transition from the prior Bush administration. Four of President Barack ObamaâÄôs choices for cabinet positions have resigned or stepped down from appointment or nomination, all for various reasons, spanning from tax evasion to fundamental differences in opinion between president and appointee. The latest nominee to drop out of ObamaâÄôs cabinet, Judd Gregg , Republican senator from New Hampshire, cited âÄúirresolvable conflictâÄù as the reason for his stepping down from the position of Commerce Secretary. His key points of adversity with the rest of the administration stem from the direction the White House seeks with the 2010 census and the economic stimulus package. Other appointees have faced tax evasion allegations, including original Health and Human Services head appointee and former senator Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer , who would have been the first chief performance officer for the office of the presidency. Both Killefer and Daschle carried insubstantial defenses to their allegations and found themselves on the outside looking in on the Obama administration. Even those nominees who have been able to survive the public scrutiny have somewhat suspect records, including Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner , who failed to make a timely payment of $34,000 to Uncle Sam. The last appointee to step down, original commerce secretary selection Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, became a central figure in a grand jury investigation on political donors who were handed high-ranking state positions. We hope that the misjudgments made in the reviewing of these applicantsâÄô records are not a recurrent theme; otherwise, the honeymoon period Obama is having with the American people will come to a close faster than previously expected. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in the Indiana Statesman at Indiana State University. Please send comments to [email protected].