Nancy Killefer withdraws her nomination


11:33 AM: One has to wonder if Killefer’s withdrawal will make it harder for Tom Daschle to win confirmation as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Here’s what we wrote about Killefer after her nomination last month. She was universally praised as a good pick for the new position.

11:15 AM: Killefer had a $924 tax lien placed on her house in 2005 because she failed to pay employment taxes for her household help. She paid the bill five months later. And that’s why she withdrew, according to a letter she sent to the White House.

It’s a little surprising her nomination was derailed by that issue: It’s a small amount of money, compared to Timothy Geithner (more than $32,000 in unpaid taxes) and Tom Daschle (more than $100,000), and she paid the bill years ago.

But after those two big problems, Obama probably decided (for political reasons) to take a stand on Killefer. From her letter to the White House:

I recognize that your agenda and the duties facing your Chief Performance Officer are urgent. I have also come to realize in the current environment that my personal tax issue of D.C. unemployment tax could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid. Because of this I must reluctantly ask you to withdraw my name from consideration.

10:12 AM: The Associated Press is reporting that Killefer will announce her reasons for withdrawing later today.

Original post: President Obama’s pick for chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer, has withdrawn her nomination, according to the White House — no details yet on why.


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