President Barack Obama has the most ambitious agenda of any American President. The only comparable ambitions of any other occupant were those of General George Washington before he took the oath.
Yet, it seems that Obama is having a harder time enlisting soldiers in his cause than even Washington at Valley Forge:
Three of Barack Obama's nominations for key government positions have withdrawn from the running on a single day in another blow to his faltering attempts to fill his administration.
They are the latest in a string a appointments to back out of senior jobs since he came to power just six weeks ago.
The nominee for deputy in the United States Treasury Department withdrew herself from consideration after weeks of intensive vetting
Annette Nazareth, a former senior staffer and commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was said to have made "a personal decision" to pull out.
She had faced criticism for her SEC role in creating what Mr Obama himself has lambasted as lax oversight of the banking industry and her confirmation hearing threatened to be contentious.
The gap leave Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, battling the worst economist crisis since the Great Depression with none of his 17 deputies even named. Each one has to be confirmed by the US Senate, a process that usually takes weeks.
Paul Volcker, an Obama economic adviser and former Federal Reserve chairman, called the situation at the Treasury "shameful" last week. Mr Geithner has a 50-person "shadow cabinet" of intended appointees but they have no authority to take any decisions.
Gary Cooper couldn't find one man to deputize before High Noon. They were cowards in the face of gunfighters.
What repels those Obama seeks to enlist? Is it tax probes alone? Hard to fathom, unless the non-payment of same is truly a common Democratic Party characteristic. We don't rule it out. But with 17 vacancies at Treasury alone, we suspect it is something more visceral.
We are reminded of the R.M.S. Titanic.
Who wants to jump aboard a sinking ship?
Obama can talk all he wants about what he inherited. Markets look to the future, not the past, and even if he isn't moved by the day-to-day tracking polls of the stock market, the losers of same are, and potential office holders understand that, unlike Dem party primary polls, these polls calculate actual losses of wealth and may not want to ally themselves with a man obsessed with the health care benefit of a currently unemployed man two years from now rather than alleviating the unemployed status today.
Can't fill 17 deputy jobs?
This is serious.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson
Originally published by Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report