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Daschle withdraws nomination

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Tom Daschle
Former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary.

      That's according to a joint White House statement from President Barack Obama and his former nominee.

      Obama said Tuesday he accepted the withdrawal "with sadness and regret."

      Daschle has been battling for his nomination since it was disclosed he failed to pay more than $120,000 in taxes.

      He said he's withdrawing because he's not a leader who has the full faith of Congress and will be a distraction.       

      (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)