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This is a good thing, not just for Obama’s administration, but for the credibility of the US overseas. Daschle may be talented, but his appointment would not have passed the ‘smell test’.

Tax issues with Killefer, who was to ‘be a chief performance officer’, allegations of corruption in the form of favourable treatment for political donors by Bill Richardson, who was to be Commerce Secretary, and other tax issues for Timothy Geithner, whose role would have included oversight of  the Internal Revenue Service…

There were suggestions from the press that the McCain campaign had fellen down in its vetting processes because Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant. I could never make any sense of this. It always seemed like unseemly gloating. How did that very human and normal family situation that didn’t involve anything she herself had done, diminish Sarah Palin’s capacity to function as vice-president?

But favours for mates, taxes unpaid, and goodness knows what hasn’t made it into the media? Unless backhanders to political donors and cheating on your taxes are not considered anything unusual in some circles, it is hard to understand how these things were not picked up before the nominations were made public.

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