On MSNBC earlier this afternoon, Andrea Mitchell described her phone call with Tom Daschle today and how he came to withdraw as nominee for head of the Health and Human Services Department (h/t, Michael Calderone):

MITCHELL: I just got off the phone with Tom Daschle. It was an emotional conversation. He was clearly — sounded as though he were tearful, over-wrought. He said, “I read The New York Times this morning and I realized that I can’t pass health care if I am too much of a distraction and when I saw what the Republicans were saying, and read The New York Times, I called the president this morning.” And then he said “I’ve got to go.” It was a difficult conversation.

From today’s Times: an editorial, “The Travails of Tom Daschle,” (currently the “most blogged” story) which reads, in part, “We believe that Mr. Daschle ought to step aside and let the president choose a less-blemished successor;” and, on the front-page: “Obama’s Promise of Ethics Reform Faces Early Test.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.