Tom Daschle Running for President?
Former Senate Minority and Majority Leader Tom Daschle, defeated for re-election in 2004, is reportedly exploring a run for the White House in 2008.
Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle’s interest in public office isn’t necessarily latent: he has set up a new political action committee and plans a Jefferson-Jackson Day speech in the politically pivotal state of Iowa. Daschle, who was considered a possible candidate for president in 2004, has quietly eschewed most publicity since his defeat to Republican John Thune last November. But Steve Hildebrand, director of the new committee and Daschle’s former campaign manager, said the well-known Democrat from South Dakota “is not going to rule out opportunities to play important roles in public service.” “It could be president, it could be vice president, it could be something else,” Hildebrand said. “It could be nothing.”
Nothing would seem the most likely of those. I can’t imagine Daschle even carrying South Dakota, let alone beating out Hillary Clinton and others for the nomination. And the rationale for putting a defeated has-been with bad hair and three electoral votes in the second spot eludes me.
Daschle has transferred $500,000 into the new committee, New Leadership for America PAC. Hildebrand says the committee will give money to endangered incumbents, support younger candidates looking to run for office and “provide a forum for him to continue to speak out on issues that are important.”
In July, Daschle said he was not planning a rematch against Thune in 2010. He made the statement in a letter to the Federal Election Commission, which had asked him to clarify his candidate status. Since Daschle’s candidate fundraising committee had spent more than $5,000, he officially qualified as a candidate.
Given the lucrative nature of the lobbying game for someone with Daschle’s Rolodex, it’s difficult to imagine him re-entering elective politics.