TPMDC Sunday Roundup

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Daschle Knew Of Tax Issues, Didn’t Tell Obama Team
The New York Times reports that Tom Daschle knew this past June about his failure to pay taxes on a car and driver provided to him by a private equity firm, but did not disclose it to the Obama team until weeks after the vetting process and the announcement of his cabinet appointment. A Daschle spokesperson said that he didn’t inform people about it because he didn’t yet know how the owed amount really was — $128,000, plus interest — and he thought an accountant was taking care of it.

WaPo: Daschle Confirmation Depends On Senate Comity
The Washington Post reports that Tom Daschle’s confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services now hinges on his close personal connections to Senators with whom he formerly served. For example, the Post mentions Daschle’s friendship with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who has not yet commented on Daschle’s troubles — and who voted against Tim Geithner because of his tax issues.

Obama Hosting Bipartisan Super Bowl Party At White House
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are hosting a Super Bowl Party at the White House tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. The guest-list of four Senators and 11 House members is made up of mostly Democrats, but there are a few Republicans: Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), Rep. Charlie Dent (PA), Rep. Trent Franks (AZ), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

Biden Hosting Super Bowl Party, Too
Vice President Biden and his wife Jill are hosting their own Super Bowl Party tonight at the Naval Observatory. The six Senators and four House members on the official guest-list are all Democrats.

McConnell: Gregg Would Be Replaced By A Republican
Appearing today on Face The Nation, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that a Republican would be appointed to fill Judd Gregg’s seat if he becomes Commerce Secretary. “Senator Gregg has told me that if he were to take this appointment, it would not alter the makeup of the Senate in terms of the majority and the minority,” said McConnell, implying that some sort of deal has been made with New Hampshire’s Dem Governor John Lynch.

GOP Governors Want Stimulus Money
The Associated Press reports that most Republican governors are breaking form the Congressional GOP’s opposition to the stimulus bill, and are asking the Senate to pass the bill. This dichotomy is best expressed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — he said he would accept the money as governor, but would have voted against the bill if he were still in the House.

Hillary’s Debt Down To $5.9 Million — Mostly To Mark Penn
Hillary Clinton’s campaign debt has now been whittled down to $5.9 million, down from highs of over $20 million — and $5.4 million of it is owed to Mark Penn’s consulting firm, with the rest of it to four smaller vendors. The Hatch Act prevents Hillary from directly raising cash as Secretary of State, though others would be able to raise money on her behalf.

Obama To Alfalfa Club: Robert E. Lee Would Be Very Confused
President Obama spent last night at the Alfalfa dinner, telling jokes to the elite Washington social club. “I know that many you are aware that this dinner began almost one hundred years ago as a way to celebrate the birthday of General Robert E. Lee.” said Obama, according to released excerpts. “If he were here with us tonight, the General would be 202 years old. And very confused.”

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