Abraham Lincoln | Anderson Cooper | Barack Obama | News | Tom Daschle

Obama on Tom Daschle Withdrawal: 'I Made a Mistake'

Anderson

Obama did something yesterday that Bush rarely did over eight years — admitted he "made a mistake" with regard to the Tom Daschle debacle that went down over the past few days.

Said Obama: "Well, I think my mistake is not in selecting Tom originally, because I think nobody was better equipped to deal both with the substance and policy of health care -- he understands it as well as anybody -- but also the politics, which is going to be required to actually get it done. But I think that, look, ultimately, I campaigned on changing Washington and bottom-up politics. And I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards, one for powerful people, and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes."

At the end of the interview, Anderson threw in a few questions with regard to Obama's first days in the White House.

COOPER: What's the latest on the dog search?

OBAMA: We are going to get it in the spring. I think the theory was that the girls might be less inclined to do the walking when it was cold outside.

COOPER: Portuguese Water Dog? You don't know yet?

OBAMA: You know, we're still experimenting.

COOPER: Coolest thing about your new car?

OBAMA: You know, I thought it was the phones until I realized that I didn't know which button to press. That was a little embarrassing.

COOPER: Have you had a cigarette since you've been to the White House?

OBAMA: No, I haven't had one on these grounds. And I -- you know, sometimes it's hard, but, you know, I'm sticking to -- sticking to it.

COOPER: You said, on these grounds. I'll let you pass on that. And final question, you've read a lot about Abraham Lincoln. What is the greatest thing that you've learned from your studies of Lincoln that you're bringing to the office right now?

OBAMA: You know, when I think about Abraham Lincoln, what I'm struck by is the fact that he constantly learned on the job. He got better. You know, he wasn't defensive. He wasn't arrogant about his tasks. He was very systematic in saying, 'I'm going to master the job, and I understand it's going to take some time.' But in his case, obviously, the Civil War was the central issue, and he spent a lot of time learning about military matters, even though that wasn't his area of experience. Right now I'm learning an awful lot about the economy. I'm not a trained economist, but I'm spending a lot of time thinking about that so that I can make the very best decisions possible for the American people."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Someone should point out to him how Caroline Kennedy was crucified for saying "you know" too much. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic. I still feel bad for her)

    Posted by: MT | Feb 4, 2009 9:14:05 AM


  2. For God's sake let the man have a cigarette. I realize I'm in the Tobacco Belt - literally up the hill from renovated tobacco warehouses that are now upscale condos - but this guy has a lot on is plate. If he needs a moment to himself to take a drag every once in a while then I hope he takes it. That's one drag we'll all get a buzz from.

    Posted by: WillnDurhamNC | Feb 4, 2009 9:35:18 AM


  3. This is BULL CRAP! I appreciate that OBAMA wants to admit fault BUT it's not his alone!
    He needs to review and clean out his personnel/vetting team! Secondly, anyone he nominates for a post MUST decline if they know they have an issue which will detract from the OBAMA admin.... we have seen 4 candidates for various positions stepping down...None of those 4 should have even accepted or put forth their names knowing they have issues... Even Timothy Geithner himself should have stepped aside!! If you knew how easy it is to (at the minimum)learn about a persons' tax status you would be pissed as i am pissed (I was a senior member of a State Tax department) it sucks to have the knowledge and then to see the W.H. fudge it all up! Dam!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: alex in Boston | Feb 4, 2009 9:45:11 AM


  4. This is BULL CRAP! I appreciate that OBAMA wants to admit fault BUT it's not his alone!
    He needs to review and clean out his personnel/vetting team! Secondly, anyone he nominates for a post MUST decline if they know they have an issue which will detract from the OBAMA admin.... we have seen 4 candidates for various positions stepping down...None of those 4 should have even accepted or put forth their names knowing they have issues... Even Timothy Geithner himself should have stepped aside!! If you knew how easy it is to (at the minimum)learn about a persons' tax status you would be pissed as i am pissed (I was a senior member of a State Tax department) it sucks to have the knowledge and then to see the W.H. fudge it all up! Dam!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: alex in Boston | Feb 4, 2009 9:47:51 AM


  5. Alex in Boston

    Good points

    - clean out the vetting team (easy)

    - rely on the better pats of human nature in each nominee to decline due to the skeletons in their closets (hard....good luck on this one)


    The silver lining in this mess, and it is a mess, is that Obama at least is smart enough/ politically savvy enough to realize how refreshing "the buck stops here" is for america.

    I would prefer that it is because he is good , but I 'll take politically savvy / smart over nothing. He is at least the latter preferably the former but definitely the later.

    Great move on the public acknowledgment of the mistake and apologizing.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 4, 2009 9:56:18 AM


  6. PS

    willdurhamnc

    LOL Have you seen the latest cover of MAD magazine?

    It is Obama's first 100 minutes and he has like 10 cigerates in his mouth as he sweats looking at newspapers about our 2 wars, files on the crap economy, etc.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 4, 2009 9:59:22 AM


  7. Jimmyboyo, did you read the NY Times article about Obama passing out cookies to congressmen he'd invited to the White House to watch the Super Bowl?

    I swooned a little.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 4, 2009 10:11:58 AM


  8. Um, seems to me that Obama is apologizing for getting caught. It would be a departure from the Bush years if he would apologize for picking a health care advisor who seems beholden to health insurance money. That's what I would hope for from a Democratic president.

    Posted by: dk | Feb 4, 2009 10:14:34 AM


  9. Um, seems to me that Obama is apologizing for getting caught. It would be a departure from the Bush years if he would apologize for picking a health care advisor who seems beholden to health insurance money. That's what I would hope for from a Democratic president.

    Posted by: dk | Feb 4, 2009 10:14:52 AM


  10. crispy

    No I haven't. I will check it out now.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 4, 2009 10:22:48 AM


  11. Hilarious how everyone thought the Hillary pick would be the thorn on his side

    Posted by: daveynyc | Feb 4, 2009 3:16:08 PM


  12. This is such bullsh*t. He doesn't want the people to think there are double standards? Then why didn't he speak up when it was discovered that Tim Geitner hadn't paid income taxes for four years? If you recall, he's been confirmed as Treasury Secretary. Geitner didn't pay his taxes so can I stop paying mine, Pres. Obama, if you don't want double standard?

    Posted by: Goodtimes | Feb 4, 2009 4:03:44 PM


  13. daveyNYC

    Not everyone

    :-)

    I would have preferred Hillary as VP (said so many times on this site) as vs Biden in the spot, uit oh well. Jimmyboyo god emperor of the world hasn't happened yet.

    Goodtimes

    Geitner is quite a different matter in that the majority of IMF workers also committed the same mistake due to the complications inherent in filing as an independent contractor. When the majority of your coworkers committed the same mistake then their is something wrong with the system and not the person.

    Daschel though was a flat out scoundrel and lobbyist whore. I didn't like him for sec of HHS from the beginning due to his and his wife's lobbyist ties)

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 4, 2009 4:32:09 PM


  14. JimmyB :)

    Amen I agree totally

    Do u think we'll see a 2016 run from Hills?

    Posted by: daveynyc | Feb 4, 2009 5:52:42 PM


  15. Daveynyc

    2016

    hmmmmm

    Well, if the world ran according to my will I would have biden retire at the first term and Obama brings on Hillary as VP.

    The next 4 yrs proving to each other they can work well together though more so to show their hard core supporters that they can work well together.

    Then Hillary runs 2016 as head of the ticket.

    She did joke today though that she sometimes forgets that she even ran for the presidency. State dept might in the end stimulate her abilities in such a way that she never wants to run again.

    We will see

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 4, 2009 7:24:45 PM


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