1. Most of my november 2008 posts included criticisms of the Daschle pick and suggestions of alternatives. I think this is my first one, from November 23, 2008. Despite revalations about what some might consider questionable income and tax fraud, I think the most damning thing about Daschle is simply is lack of demonstrated qualifications to be appointed to administer the largest departmental bureacracy, administering some very technical institutions, in the Federal governent.
2. Obama's biggest decision making weaknesses, as they're shaping up:
a. Excessive loyalty, the same weakness as Bush. Bill Clinton stands in sharp contrast: he was able to jettison nominations and fire staffers (some paranoid conservatives claim he was able to do a little more than that) that would otherwise cause harm to his administration.
b. Fear of political rivals. The best way to get nominated for the best jobs in the Obama administration? Qualifications for the particular job don't see to matter as much as the popularity and resume to run against him in the 2012 Democrat primaries.
c. Being a Senator is a qualification for everything. Unfortunately, making the Senate to approving body on all high level presidential appointments, including when Senators are nominated, enables him on this. I'd be interested in an amendment giving the House the power to confirm appointments of candidates who were most recently Senators. The Senate is too collegial and seems incapable of rejecting a nominated Senator for any position.