These things, under normal circumstances, would have taken him out.
Things are not normal for a number of reasons, first, it is President Obama’s 100 Days, and people are generally willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – and therefore his nominees.
Second, Congressional Dems have created a new standard and relaxed view about tax avoidance, there have been two precedents set for high level Democrats surviving key tax related positions despite a public tax problem: Charlie Wrangle, Chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and Tim Geithner, President Obama’s new Treasury Secretary.
What it will do, in the likely event Daschle survives, which I think he will, is hurt his reformer-let’s-change-the-world credibility.
Congress will be less likely to take political risks when lead by Tom Daschle — who claimed he became accustomed to having a driver in D.C. when he was Majority Leader, and did not think of it as reportable income.
Notwithstanding the “limousine liberal” cracks, President Obama has a politically damaged HHS nominee, and reforming health care is a political problem, not a policy problem.