7:05 AM, Dec 12, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
David Hawkings, at Roll Call, writes almost wistfully of what might have been if Tom Daschle, President Obama’s first choice to be secretary of Health and Human Services, had been confirmed by the Senate where he had been majority leader before his constituents in South Dakota voted him out of office, most likely on the grounds that he had come to represent the interests and values of the Beltway more than those of his home state.
It was five years ago Wednesday that President-elect Barack Obama announced the former majority leader would be returning to government as Health and Human Services secretary, where he would be in charge of drafting legislation overhauling the health care system and then steering it to enactment. The choice seemed an obvious, but astute, way to boost the likelihood that the new president’s top domestic priority would move through Congress relatively smoothly and quickly, and to assure the bureaucracy would then implement the inevitably complicated changes to medical insurance rules with minimal fuss.
Pretty thoughts, indeed. But Daschle couldn’t make it to confirmation, which stalled over some tax issues. So he stuck around Washington where he:
… now embodies the archetype of the Washington elder statesman — out of the limelight, but hardly out of influence. He’s a top rainmaker at the premier lobby law firm DLA Piper, where he’s got sway in the financial services, telecommunications, trade and tax worlds in addition to health care. He’s also on a range of public and private boards. And as a founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, he is regularly called on to explain the current congressional calcification and to prescribe ways for ending it.
Hawkings’s piece describes, then, the depressingly familiar trajectory of many of those neo-populist Democrats from the prairies (think Dick Gephardt) and would be of only passing interest except for the roll call of former Daschle aides (and, by the way, why do congresspeople need so much help?) who have encysted themselves into the flesh of Washington and government. As Hawkings writes, Daschle had
… been a Hill staffer before his House election, and soon thereafter started cultivating what’s become a legendary staff alumni association. (The network’s influence on public life may only be exceeded by the legions who once worked in the Senate for the late Edward M. Kennedy.)
This is what is meant by the phrases “the political class,” and “the unelected government.” And a tidy description of just how things work in the Imperial City. To the immense satisfaction and enrichment of that same political class.
11:22 AM, Jun 17, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Tom Daschle, President Obama’s original choice of secretary of Health and Human Services, confirmed yesterday that the motivation behind creating Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IBAP) was to vest power in an unelected body that is sufficiently insulated from the American people.
The South Dakota senator looks back on his brief stint as majority leader.Dec 29, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 16 • By JON LAUCK
Like No Other Time
The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever
by Tom Daschle
A Weekly Standard Exclusive: The Senate minority leader is ordered to stop calling himself a Catholic.12:00 PM, Apr 17, 2003 • By J. BOTTUM
TOM DASCHLE may no longer call himself a Catholic. The Senate minority leader and the highest ranking Democrat in Washington has been sent a letter by his home diocese of Sioux Falls, sources in South Dakota have told The Weekly Standard, directing him to remove from his congressional biography and campaign documents all references to his standing as a member of the Catholic Church.
This isn't exactly excommunication--which is unnecessary, in any case, since Daschle made himself ineligible for communion almost 20 years ago with his divorce and remarriage to a Washington lobbyist.
Calling for "regime change" in America is only one of the Democratic candidate's problems.Apr 21, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 31 • By NOEMIE EMERY
IT'S NOT OFTEN that you see an American commit hari-kari in public, but that's what John Kerry appears to have done. In one thrill-packed day--April 2--in New Hampshire, he managed to (1) blame George W. Bush for the train wreck in the U.N.
During Bill Clinton's showdown with Saddam Tom Daschle was all for American unity. Now he's attacking George W. Bush, and his voice is carrying all the way to the Middle East.7:20 AM, Mar 19, 2003 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
The minority leader's attack on George W. Bush puts him in the dubious company of Charles Lindbergh.11:00 PM, Mar 18, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
SENATOR TOM DASCHLE'S attack on President Bush on Monday was unprecedented for the leader of the opposition party in Congress, but high-profile Americans have a long history of getting it wrong on matters of war and peace. Most famous among these is Charles Lindbergh, who help found the America First Committee in September of 1940.
From the March 17, 2003 issue: The Democrats were all for unity against Saddam--when Clinton was president.Mar 17, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 26 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
"DEMOCRATS LAMBASTE BUSH ON IRAQ." So declared the front page headline in the Washington Post the morning after the president's press conference.
From the February 10, 2003 issue: The Senate minority leader's responsibility gap.Feb 10, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 21 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
MUCH OF THE WORLD focused last week on Saddam Hussein's continuing failure to comply with U.N. demands for disarmament, and on President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle had a different agenda. He spent the week undermining the president by questioning his honesty.
Last Monday, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix addressed the Security Council. He detailed the many examples of Iraq's refusal to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441. The same day, Daschle spoke to a roomful of journalists at the National Press Club.
What unites the Democrats? A cartoonish view of Republicans.Jan 20, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 18 • By NOEMIE EMERY
FINALLY THE DEMOCRATS have found their hot issue: The Confederate heart of George Bush, and of Bill Frist, who by virtue of their membership in the Republican party have indicated their desire to live in a slaveholding past. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi--to name just three prominent Democrats--have delivered themselves of the judgment that Republicans and those who vote for them are all closet racists. The demise of Trent Lott was only a smokescreen to hide this dark secret.
What Al Gore's departure from the 2004 field means for the Democratic party.11:00 PM, Dec 15, 2002 • By FRED BARNES
THE IMPORTANT THING about Al Gore's decision not to run for president in 2004--other than the decision itself--is the debate it will unleash inside the Democratic party, both during next year's run-up to the primaries, and in the 2004 primaries themselves. That debate will be about war: war against Iraq, the war on terrorism, indeed war itself as a tool of national security and a path to democratization. And it will be a lively, emotional, instructive, and perhaps even bitter debate, exactly the sort of debate the Democratic party needs.
With Gore gone, Sen.
Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, and their fellow Democrats try to explain why their party floundered in the 2002 elections.11:00 PM, Dec 8, 2002 • By FRED BARNES
WHEN FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON addressed the Democratic Leadership Council the other day, he declared it "unconscionable" what Republicans had done in attacking now ex-Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. And, yes, Clinton was serious. He was repeating what has become a Democratic talking point. But like other staples of the party's rhetoric, the tale of abuse of Daschle is a myth.
It's one of six myths I've spotted--there are probably more I've missed--that Democrats have been repeating since their election losses a month ago.
From the December 2, 2002 issue: Tom Daschle's revealing attack on Rush Limbaugh.Dec 2, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 12 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL, FOR THE EDITORS
AFTER AN ELECTORAL LOSS, sour grapes is a normal response. Few politicians are big enough to manage a nobler one. A political candidacy puts forward a set of ideas about how a decent society ought to be run; a political defeat hands power to people who don't share the losing candidate's goals, and may not even understand them. That is why politicians so often react to defeat with outright incomprehension.
The 2002 election, Hawaii, New Jersey, Democrats, porn, and more.11:00 PM, Nov 10, 2002 • By
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To me, a 25 year USAF veteran and recent retiree, the most significant aspect of the offensive use of the Predator detailed in Christian Lowe's article (A New Breed of Predator) is that it was initiated not by any of the U.S. armed services, but by the CIA.
Jeb Bush defied Democratic pundits with a convincing victory in Florida. Does he go to the head of the class for 2008?12:55 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By LEE BOCKHORN
Tim Russert: Now, you said in The New York Times last week, "Jeb Bush is gone." You want to take those words back?
DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe: Of course not. I'm very excited about what's going on in Florida.
Russert: He's going to lose, guaranteed?
McAuliffe: Yep. That is why the president was down there yesterday for his 13th visit. People in Florida are energized. They've already started the early voting. And if you look at Broward and Dade counties, there are lines already, huge lines, people--record vote coming out in Florida . . .