When John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential running mate on the Republican ticket, progressive America and much of the media was rightly appalled with one question: Who the hell was doing McCain's vetting? Where was the vetting? How do you pick a running mate on 2 meetings and a phone call, especially when we found out that the Democratic opposition research were the first people that were asking for documents related to Sarah Palin in Alaska, meaning that McCain's team never vetted her? This, probably more than anything else, plunged the public's confidence in John McCain, or whatever of it he still had left.
Right now, President Obama's vetting team isn't doing much better. After suffering a small blow with one nominee with a relatively small tax problem, no one bothered to look into, or find out, that another one was punching through the door with a Texas sized tax problem. Not only that, the President was about to put a guy paid $1 million a year in "consulting fees" by a health insurance lobbyist in charge of health care reform. The President himself set the high standards against the revolving door of Washington, DC, and even without his tax problems, Tom Daschle is the very example of revolving doors. We heard all this stuff about how Daschle could get things through because of his relationship with Congress - he is, after all, the former Democratic leader in the US Senate. Even if that were true, would whatever Daschle would have been able to get through been worth the paper it was written on? Who would Daschle be working for - his lobbyist buddies or the American people?
The American people are not dumb. They have been watching this. They have been watching a President with soaring promises backed up with executive orders, only to find an asterisk next to the promise. They are watching a President personally taking on the cause of irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington, and then nominate someone irresponsible with their own taxes to lead a cabinet department. Perhaps this is why the President's approval rating, while still strong, has taken a nose dive - going down by nearly 20 points in 3 weeks (granted 3 weeks ago he was President-elect).
Someone on the President's vetting team is not doing their job, or the President thinks the general rules don't apply to him. If it's the latter, he is quickly finding out that it's not true. But I don't think it's the latter. I don't think Barack Obama is that arrogant. I think it's the former. Whichever culprits on the vetting team aren't doing their job to make sure the appointments they refer to the president are squeaky clean are doing a disservice not just to President Obama but to the American people. The President needs to find out who they are and fire them pronto. We are all happy that this President took responsibility for the Daschle debacle. But Mr. President, it's time to go beyond responsibility. It's time for action. It's time for consequences.