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   Poll: Ethics stumbles not big deal to most Americans

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2/5/2009 11:00 pm

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USA Today

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News

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Entered 2/5/2009, Updated 2/5/2009

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By Susan Page, USA TODAY WASHINGTON — Early stumbles by the Obama White House over some high-level appointments caused a furor in the capital and on cable TV this week, but most Americans dismiss them as just a normal part of staffing a new administration. In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Wednesday, those surveyed say by nearly 3-1 that their confidence in President Obama's ethical standards and his ability to manage the government and improve the economy has gone up rather than down since his inauguration last month. "They're willing to cut him some slack," says political scientist Gary Jacobson of the University of California-San Diego. "They're more interested in things like what's going to happen to their jobs and their incomes and their 401(k)s. This other stuff is just a distraction." On Tuesday, former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to become Obama's top adviser on health care amid controversy over his failure to pay $128,000 in past taxes. Nancy Killefer also withdrew her nomination to become the administration's chief "performance officer" because of a $900 tax lien the District of Columbia once put on her house for failing to pay unemployment taxes on household help.


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