Tom Daschle spent Monday groveling before the Senate Finance Committee. The former Senate majority leader released a letter ... apologizing for mistakes on his personal income tax returns that resulted in back payments of $146,000. ...

President Obama has tapped Daschle to serve as secretary of health and human services, a portfolio that would include leading the charge to reform the health-care system. The choice is promising ... Daschle [is] skilled in navigating the terrain in Washington and most knowledgeable about the complexities of health care. And the early indications are that he will skirt past the difficulty and gain Senate confirmation. ...

This editorial page has relayed its enthusiasm for the Daschle selection. That said, the revelations about his tax troubles point to a coziness in Washington that Obama pledged to diminish during his presidency. ...

The question for the president is: Who can best lead his effort? He should think hard about Tom Daschle, weighing the nominee's connections and knowledge against the vulnerability of having a secretary so plainly an insider and thus less persuasive. The priority is advancing health-care reform, not the mere confirmation of a nominee.