If you were watching the cable news channels today, you might have caught a few clips of the veritable love fest that was Tom Daschle’s courtesy visit to the Senate. Daschle made the return trip to kick off the confirmation process for his nomination as Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary. In that capacity, Daschle will play a central role in designing and moving any health care reform package Obama brings to Congress in the coming months.
I can still remember how absolutely exhausted Daschle seemed in 2004, shortly after his close (around 4500 votes) loss to John Thune in the South Dakota Senate race. Daschle had lost his position as Senate Majority Leader in the wake of the brutal 2002 midterm elections, and had spent the next two years taking a merciless political beating from the Bush Administration, in his capacity as Minority Leader. When Daschle was defeated in 2004, it really struck me that he had finally reached the end of his long political rope as a legislator.
I didn’t see or hear much in the news from Daschle over the next four years, until he reemerged seemingly rejuvenated in 2008, as one of Barack Obama’s chief political surrogates in the media. I thought he was tremendously effective in that role. Daschle turned in a series of strong appearances on the Sunday morning shows and cable news programs, often at times when the Obama campaign seemed to be struggling a bit. If today’s initial hearing is any indication, Daschle should be easily confirmed. He seems poised to have a real impact in the critical area of health care policy.
Posted On: 01-08-2009 21:15:53 by Dante
Posted On: 01-09-2009 11:52:07 by Dean Spiliotes
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