White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said last night that Obama stands behind his friend and confidant. "The president believes nobody's perfect but that nobody's hiding anything," Gibbs said.
The disclosure of Daschle's tax problems coincided with the release of the financial statement he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, which details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington. [snip]
In his principal campaign speech on government ethics in June 2007, candidate Obama decried the "morally offensive conduct" of lobbyists and lawmakers who help large industries and special interests exercise "an effective veto on our progress."
This morning I heard our hack Dem Sen. Dick Durbin defend Daschle:
"If all you knew about Tom Daschle was that he used to be a senator, and he made a mistake and had to pay over $100,000 in back taxes, you have a right to be skeptical, even cynical. But if you know Tom Daschle, you know better," said Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. Durbin suggested Daschle, who was a lawmaker from 1978-2004, was overwhelmed by his newfound wealth when he entered private life.Well. Count me very underwhelmed. But Riehl World View has an idea, "Responsible Citizen's Economic Stimulus Package of 2009"--withhold our taxes for the greater good, and refer any questions to Sen. Durbin as our advocate.
The stench of hypocrisy is hard to miss.