By: Carmen Stephens
WASHINGTON(AP/UTC)– Two weeks into his presidency President Obama, proved that even a clearly gifted politician cannot escape gravitational pull of Washington forces that he has vowed to reform. ”I screwed up”, Obama said during a series of TV interviews. ”I take responsibility for this mistake.”
A new president’s team imperfectly vetted top nominees. The nominees, it turns out, had not paid taxes for household help or other services when they were private citizens. The news media and political adversaries bored in. And rather than spend more valuable time and political capital defending the appointees, the administration dropped them and moved on.
This just goes to show, our president isn’t perfect. This may be news to his adoring supporters, but like other presidents, he too will struggle with making the best decision for economy, health care, military matters, and Congress.
Obama’s rocket ride to the White House, his extraordinary speaking skills, and his smooth, I-don’t-sweat style had some people calling him “the one,” a once-in-a-generation political leader who could rise above his predecessors’ foibles.
President Obama appears to be learning from previous presidents such as Bill Clinton by cutting his loses early and not not waiting too long to name top appointees and stumbling into sticky, nonwin issues such as gays.
The Associated Press had disclosed that in 2005 the District of Columbia filed a $946 tax lien on the home of Nancy Killefer— nominated by Obama to be the government’s first chief performance officer_for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. Killefer withdrew her nomination early Tuesday, saying she did not want to become a distraction for the young administration.
Hours later, President Obama seemed to get it: “It’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules — you know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.