This editorial appeared in The Charlotte Observer.
When Barack Obama was running for the Democratic nomination last year and then for the presidency in the fall, one of the most attractive things about his candidacy was his promise of change that we all could believe in.
He campaigned on a promise of change that would mean no more cozy lobbyists-in-government schemes, no more ethically-challenged appointees ignoring laws that apply to everyone else.
Two weeks into the Obama presidency, we like his campaign better than his administration. While Mr. Obama has set the right tone for approaching the monumentally hard work ahead of this government and while some of his appointments are outstanding, others were either badly botched or reflect a half-hearted commitment to the change principle central to his ballot-box success last fall. Consider:
His nominee for treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, failed to pay $35,000 in self-employment taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund, and did so only after the president-elect made his decision to nominate Geithner for treasury secretary. Mr. Geithner's contention he did not realize he owed the taxes and was not prompted to report them by his tax preparation software strains the imagination at best and sounds more like a man caught in a lamentably lame lie.
His nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, is a former lobbyist for Raytheon. His appointee for chief of staff at the Treasury Department, Mark Patterson, lobbied for Goldman Sachs. During his presidential campaign, Obama criticized a culture in which "our leaders have thrown open the doors of … the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play." Has anything really changed?
To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.