How serious Obama is about health care reform remains to be seen. Obama supporters argue that Obama needs someone like Daschle, with credibility within the health care industry, in order to achieve real reform. That’s the standard explanation for most of what Obama does (he’s only courting the establishment in order to change it), and though highly skeptical, I’m personally willing to withhold judgment until the actual evidence is available regarding what Obama actually does.
But there’s no need to withhold judgment on Daschle himself. He embodies everything that is sleazy, sickly, and soul-less about Washington. It’s probably impossible for Obama to fill his cabinet with individuals entirely free of Beltway filth — it’s extremely rare to get anywhere near that system without being infected by it –but Daschle oozes Beltway slime from every pore.