Tom Daschle backed the patron who paid him a million-dollar salary and supplied him with a free car and driver for a job inside the Obama administration, two Democrats said Monday.
Leo Hindery, whose InterMedia Partners employed the former Senate majority leader, had been mentioned as a possible secretary of commerce or U.S. trade representative.
"Tom was pushing for him," said one Democratic source.
Obama's aides rejected Daschle's suggestion that a top job go to Hindery, for whose private equity fund Daschle had served as a rainmaker and adviser.
Jenny Backus, who has been helping to shepherd Daschle through his confirmation process for the administration, declined to comment on discussions about a job for Hindery.
But the news that Daschle did not pay taxes on the imputed income for the car and driver has put the spotlight on Hindery, a blustery, left-leaning mogul with an office in Chrysler Building, a table at the Four Seasons, and a passion for race cars, who has styled himself as organized labor’s Robert Rubin.