According to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, The New York Times made Daschle do it.
It was foreshadowed yesterday at Gibbs’ press conference:
QUESTION: What specifically is the President doing to ensure that the Finance Committee and members of the Senate are comfortable with the Tom Daschle position? Is he reaching out to them by phone? Is he involved in personally lobbying for his future?
MR. GIBBS: I don’t believe he’s made calls. I know staff probably has, and I think you’ve seen — I think the most vocal advocate right now for Senator Daschle is Senator Daschle. And I think you’ve seen the letter that was released this morning that was sent to the committee last night, and I think you’ve seen the chair of the committee, who’s very important in this process and very interested in health care reform moving forward in this session of Congress, come out in support of Senator Daschle.
Yes, sir. Did you just trade seats to get at a better —
Tough day, because Obama also lost Nancy Killefer today:
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.
I am deeply honored to have been selected by you and you have my deep appreciation for your confidence in me. You have my heartfelt support and best wishes for success in all your endeavors.