When’s the last time you heard this from a U.S. president? “I screwed up”.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday admitted he made a mistake in handling the nomination of Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services secretary, saying Daschle’s tax problems sent a message that the politically powerful are treated differently than average people.
Daschle, the former Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, withdrew earlier Tuesday as news that he failed to pay some taxes in the past continued to stir opposition on Capitol Hill.
“I think I screwed up,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “And, I take responsibility for it and we’re going to make sure we fix it so it doesn’t happen again.”
Daschle had apologized Monday for what he said were honest mistakes, calling them an embarrassment. The series of errors included improperly reporting $15,000 in charitable donations, failing to list $80,000 in lobbying income due to what Daschle said was a paperwork error and not reporting a car and driver loaned to him by a friend and business associate as income.
Daschle recently filed amended tax returns, and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-2007.
I’d rather have a president who screws the pooch and admits it rather than a president who screws up and denies it or blames someone else. Or parses the definition of “is.” Or just doesn’t care and doesn’t think he did anything wrong and keeps sliding down the slope of stupidity.