03/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dump Dirty Daschle, Designate Dean

We urgently need a strong, tough, clean leader to take charge of fixing our badly broken, hemorrhaging health care system. The job is too important to have a tarnished Tom Daschle, with his questionable ties to health care industry, in charge.

The leadership needed to fix our health care system is too important to have a tarnished, questionable Tom Daschle running it.

It is more than ironic that Daschle was nailed for not paying taxes on free limo service. This fat cat Washington insider is not the person we need to fight the tough battles that must be fought to clean up our health care system and make it available to everyone in America.

Daschle not only broke the law, he did it by not paying taxes on perks provided by health industry lobbyists.

Daschle says he's deeply sorry. Not good enough. What happened to Obama's talk about ethics and reform, about changing from the old ways of Washington?

Now we learn that another appointee, Nancy Killefer is withdrawing from her appointment because of tax problems. We're talking of about $1,000 for her, compared to well over $100,000 for Daschle.

Clearly, Obama doesn't owe as deep a debt and she doesn't have the depth of support former senate Majority leader Daschle has. This is wrong. Obama is making a mistake starting off looking dirty. This is not just about Daschle. Obama brought in a new generation to the Democratic party. They expected real change -- clean, honest government. They are watching. We all are. Daschle screwed up. He should have the integrity to see what his lingering on does to Obama and the party. His failure to withdraw is a sign of his character.

I'm being kind. Salon's Glen Greenwald describes Daschle,

"He embodies everything that is sleazy, sickly, and soul-less about Washington. It's probably impossible for Obama to fill his cabinet with individuals entirely free of Beltway filth -- it's extremely rare to get anywhere near that system without being infected by it -- but Daschle oozes Beltway slime from every pore."

Health care is a two trillion dollar plus business that is out of control. Left unchecked, it will drive our economy further into the black hole. We need a proven leader who has a track record of success and bucking the system. There's only one man for this job -- the one who should have been given it in the first place -- Howard Dean.

The problem is, Daschle did Obama a lot of favors -- recruiting super delegates, helping him win the presidency. The problem is Daschle has so many good old boy buddies in congress. The problem is that Daschle is not the right man for rescuing our health care system. He's the right man to protect corporate interests, to put on a show of smoke and mirrors.

Obama needs to cut his public image losses on this one and do the right thing. It was one thing to let Geithner pass with a tax mistake that others made. Continuing to allow his appointees to have passes for violations that could cause the average person to do jail time is very wrong.

Dump Daschle. He's not the right person for this job, never was, and the facts that have come out have reinforced this. Give the job to Dean.

Crossposted from