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Daschle and Killefer Linked By More than Taxes

By Ed O'Keefe

As the departures of Thomas A. Daschle and Nancy Killefer spell trouble for President Obama, they also take away a little more of the luster of Northwest Washington's Wesley Heights neighborhood, where both former administration nominees live, and where real estate values are already down from their peak, The Eye and colleague Alice Crites report in today's Federal City Digest.

"We're a little off, 10, 15 percent," says Charlie Hein, an agent with Long & Foster Realtors, who operates, a Web site devoted to the neighborhood.

Houses in the upscale area, buttressed by Massachusetts and Nebraska avenues, can run as much as $8 million.

As for the former nominees, Killefer and husband Robert E. Cumby own a two-story, five-bedroom, five-bath stucco structure built in 1925 and currently assessed at approximately $1.7 million. Daschle and wife Linda Daschle live in a 2 1/2 -story, seven-bedroom, six-bath house built in 1950 and valued at almost $2.8 million.

"Spring will really tell where we're at," says Hein.

Hein's Web site has a fantastic review of the neighborhood's history (then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon and family briefly lived in the area), photos of some of the neighborhood's houses, recreational attractions and businesses and real estate listings.

“There won’t be any block party here,” Hein says of the big news involving local residents. But that's partly by tradition, since most neighbors keep to themselves.

But if you happen to live in Wesley Heights and run into Daschle or Killefer in the coming days, you may want to extend a kind word of encouragement.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Overheard  
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Next: Eye Opener: Feb. 5, 2009


I'm sure property values will plummet there now that the neighborhood is filled with disgraced withdrawn Obamanees . . . jeez.

Posted by: ah___ | February 4, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, just more of the common folks with $2.8 or $1.7 million-dollar homes. No mention of foreclosure for them.

I think it's fair to say the "presidential bubble" extends far outside the WH area. When I hear about DC "aristocracy," I'm glad I have Sen. Feingold representing me. I don't fully agree with him, but I think he's real and represents WI--unlike people in $2.8-milion homes.

Posted by: bulldog6 | February 4, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

With the Daschle issue, even though Obama is admitting a mistake, this was not an ethical lapse.

Tom Daschle was never in the administration. He was never confirmed. This was not failing to adhere to ethical standards, this WAS adhering to them. Same with that woman who withdrew her name yesterday for not paying a couple hundred taxes (and the stupidity of that can be covered some other time and place- our tax laws make no damned sense whatsoever). But again- this wasn’t a failure to follow ethical standards, this was adherence to them. Say it again- Tom Daschle never was confirmed. Obama set ethical standards, and Daschle did not meet them. Obama’s mistake was supporting him, but in the end, we had the ethical outcome- no Daschle in the administration.

This story has been way overblown especially when you consider all of the crap that the Bush/Cheney Republicans got away with the last eight years, which not only went unchecked but when it was checked they were almost always given a free pass from the corporate media (who are 90% in the GOP's corner at all times).

Posted by: DrainYou | February 5, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Saying that this administration is no worse than the last one is really a scathing condemnation of Obama. He promised real change, and what we are getting is politics as usual. This is a real failure on his part to live up to his promises.

Posted by: bigtom6156 | February 5, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

As an old country boy, who lived in the DC area for 13 years and now back home living in valued at over a million dollars in DC aren't that rare, or exclusive. In Texas, you can get a HOUSE for that.

I think we're all jumping the gun on condemnation of the President for some bad choices for senior political appointees...a president in office less than a month? Have we set our sights so high that he has to be immediately perfect to make anything work? If so, we're in trouble, no matter who we elect. That's why there is an approval process. Let it work. There aren't many folks anymore who could withstand the current withering process unscathed, to include some of us blog commentators.

Posted by: rocketman2 | February 5, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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