Obama takes blame for failed Daschle nomination
President Barack Obama took responsibility for the failed nomination of former Sen. Tom Daschle to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obama said he "screwed up" by supporting Daschle despite the nominee's tax issues. He said he didn't want to send the wrong message about leadership in Washington.

“I’ve got to own up to my mistake, which is that ultimately it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News, one in a series he gave last night. “You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”

Tribes had welcomed Daschle's nomination, citing his positive record on Indian issues when he was in the Senate. Daschle had pledged to improve the Indian Health Service.

"It's a sad day for South Dakota and for the Native American people who rely on the Indian Health Service as their primary health care provider," attorney Jeff Fransen told The Rapid City Journal.

"I think the failure for him to be able to continue is going to have a tremendous impact on the degree of services received by South Dakota," Michael Jandreau, the chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader. "You need a proponent who is constantly keeping your needs to the forefront."

Get the Story:
Self-inflicted wound or political expediency? Daschle cabinet bid comes to a sudden end (The Rapid City Journal 2/4)
For South Dakotans, disappointment (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/4)
Obama Says He Erred in Nominations (The Washington Post 2/4)
Old Ways Doomed New Job for Daschle (The Washington Post 2/4)
Administration Is Described as Being at a Loss (The Washington Post 2/4)
Daschle Ends Bid for Post; Obama Concedes Mistake (The New York Times 2/4)

Related Stories:
Column: Daschle tax issue stems from Indian work (2/3)
Column: Daschle offers apologies for tax issues (2/3)
Daschle HHS nomination tied up over tax issues (2/2)