Tom Daschle

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Legislative Career

US House of Representatives 1979-1986

US Senator 1987-2004

Senate Majority Leader 2001-2002

Senate Minority Leader 1995-2001, 2003-2004

Biography

A fourth-generation South Dakotan, Boy Scout and eventually senior class President, Tom Daschle was the first member of his family to graduate from college. After graduating in 1969, he spent 3 years in the Air Force. After spending 5 years as an aide to SD senator James Abourezk, Daschle ran for the US House, and won by 138 votes. After 4 terms, Daschle defeated incumbent senator James Abdnor. He was immediately appointed to the Finance Committee, very rare for a freshman senator. In 1994 he was selected to replace retiring senator George Mitchell as Democratic Leader of the Senate. Throughout the history of the Senate only Lyndon B. Johnson had served fewer years before being elected to the Leader's post.

In 2001, the shocking party-switch of Republican Jim Jeffords gave Democrats control of the Senate. Daschle presided as Majority Leader until the bruising 2002 midterm elections, when Republicans retook the chamber.

Daschle is criticized by some Democrats as being too busy worrying about his own political vulnerabilities in representing a conservative state to deal with what is best for the Democratic Party, or the nation, as a whole. There has been some speculation that Daschle will step down from the Democratic Leader post in 2005. However, that point became moot after Daschle lost the toughest reelection campaign of his career to former House rep John Thune. Jeff Gannon, also known as James D. Guckert, played a large role in Daschle's defeat as a paid GOP blogger in the smear campaign against Daschle.

Daschle's 2004 campaign website

The Guns of November 2004 Campaign Setup Dairy -Cope 15:42, 28 Oct 2004 (PDT)

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