Susan Collins: I can't vote for a tax cheat for Treasury secretary; Update: Geithner confirmed, 60-34; Update: Ten Republicans vote yes

Co-starring Andrea Mitchell, playing devil’s advocate for Obama the way any objective journalist would. The floor vote’s scheduled for 6 p.m. ET; Geithner will, of course, sail through, but watching one of the Senate’s foremost RINOs make the case against him here leaves me intrigued about the final tally. I’m betting 70/30, with Orrin Hatch’s case of Geithner fever infecting roughly 10 Republicans. Anyone want to take the under?

In fairness, he partly redeemed himself with this:

Hatch closed by saying that there is a double standard for nominations, and Geithner is benefiting from it. If a Republican nominee had Geithner’s tax record, Hatch said, he or she would have been attacked by Democrats and the media, and “the president would have had no choice other than to withdraw the nomination.” “A Republican nominee in Mr. Geithner’s position would not have even gotten a committee vote,” Hatch said.

The boss thinks this should be an obvious party-line no vote, and after some rumination, I agree. We have to pick our spots in opposing The One at this point, partly because he’s so popular at the moment and partly because we don’t want the force of a no vote diminished by opposing everything and coming off as mindless obstructionists. But Obama’s other appointees have all been rubber-stamped; only Holder will catch static, and with good reason. If you can’t draw the line on a tax cheat at Treasury, where can you draw it? Thumbs down.

Update: If you took the under, you win! A closer vote than expected. Stand by for the roll, to see how many Republicans besides Hatch defected.

Update: I was spot on: 10 Republicans voted yes.


Byrd and Harkin voted no among the Democrats.