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Home News-Telegram News Editorials ROUGH START: Where is the change?

ROUGH START: Where is the change?

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Barack Obama the Presidential candidate had a very strong stance: "Lobbyists will not find work at my White House.” President Barack Obama needs to go back and look at those words. And while he is at it, he might want to look for that change he promised, too.

Just a month into his term, President Obama has failed to follow his campaign promises — and that is very disappointing.

First, he named two former high-powered lobbyists to his Cabinet — William J. Lynn II (former Raytheon Corp. lobbyist) as deputy defense secretary and William V. Carr (anti-tobacco lobbyist) as deputy Health and Human Services secretary. So much for that promise.

Then comes the tax troubles of some other appointees, such as former Sen. Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer. Both had to withdraw as nominees to government posts due to a failure to pay a portion of their taxes owed to the federal government.  And that still leaves Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was confirmed by the Senate even though he, too, has tax problems. And then there is New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who withdrew as Commerce secretary designee in early January because of continuing investigations into a pay-to-play scheme in New Mexico.

For a candidate who promised change, all of this looks very familiar to voters.

To be fair, potential nominees are vetted by President Obama's staff — he is far too busy to go prying into those nominee’s backgrounds. But the vetting process reportedly brought out the tax issues and the President pushed ahead with the process. Only after the national media grabbed ahold of the issues did the candidates withdraw from consideration. That is disappointing. 

President Obama was elected because he promised something different — a fresh start. So far, the same types of controversies that have surrounded Washington D.C. for far too long keep popping up. That is not the change voters are looking to find. The President still has a strong honeymoon period going, so there is time to make a strong impression to begin his term. But very many more mistakes like these and he will lose his credibility shockingly fast. 

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