Daschle, Thomas

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Daschle, Thomas

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1947-

History

Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history, and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. As the Democratic Party Leader, he co-managed the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton, only the second impeachment trial in United States history. Daschle also led the Senate in response to the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the anthrax attack on his office on October 15, 2001.

Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, winning by fewer than 200 votes. He was reelected three times before running successfully for the U.S. Senate in 1986. He was re-elected twice to the Senate before being defeated in 2004. Daschle is considered a populist politician, which helped the Democratic Party win elections in a predominately Republican state. Senator Daschle quickly rose to leadership roles within Congress, becoming the Senate Democratic leader in 1994 and serving in that position until his defeat in 2004, thus becoming the second longest serving Senate leader in party history. He was a member of many committees during his tenure in the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Finance Committee, the Democratic Policy Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, the Veterans and Indian Affairs Committees, and the Finance and Ethics Committee.

Family Background

Thomas Andrew Daschle was born on December 9, 1947 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was the oldest of four sons born to Sebastian C. and Elizabeth Meier Daschle. He attended public and private schools in Aberdeen and was active in Scouts as a youngster. He played basketball, served as president of the student council, and was elected senior class president at Aberdeen Central High School. His growing interest in politics was nurtured by attending American Legion Boys State. Former Senator George McGovern made an impression on Daschle when he spoke at Tom's high school graduation ceremony.

aschle became the first person in his family to graduate from college, earning a political science degree from South Dakota State University in 1969. While in college he was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Political Science Club. He ran for sophomore class president in 1965, but lost.

Senator Daschle is married to Linda Hall Daschle and has three children, Kelly, Nathan and Lindsay.

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