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The Obama-Daschle Connection

When former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) announced last week that he would not run for president, he was largely ignored by the national news media.

But, Daschle's decision actually has major repercussions when it comes to the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) -- currently THE hot candidate of Democratic presidential politics. (Witness the rock star treatment that Obama received during a book signing and campaign stop in New Hampshire yesterday.)

Why? Because many people in Obama's inner circle have close ties to Daschle and would have been put in an extremely tough situation if both men had decided to run. With Daschle out, the way is clear for these experienced campaign hands to focus full-time on Obama -- a boon for the relatively inexperienced Senator as he navigates the tricky waters of a national bid in the coming months. If Obama does decide to run, you can expect a number of other top-level staffers with ties to Daschle to jump on-board the nascent presidential campaign.

Daschle has yet to endorse any candidate for president although he did have kind words for Obama recently, saying: "I think because of the tremendous amount of enthusiasm and support that Sen. Obama has around the country, you'd be foolish not to give it some very careful thought."

Here's a look at the major former Daschle staffers now in Obama's orbit:

*Pete Rouse: Rouse served as Daschle's chief of staff for 20 years before the South Dakota Senator's defeat in 2004. Shortly afterward, he was selected to serve in that same post for Obama.

*Robert Gibbs: Obama's communications director, Gibbs served in that same role at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2002 cycle. He was handpicked by the Daschle operation for that job.

*Steve Hildebrand: Daschle's campaign manager in 2004 (and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson's in 2002), Hildebrand accompanied Obama on a recent trip to Iowa and has been reaching out to potential staff behind the scenes. Hildebrand also ran the Iowa caucuses for then Vice President Al Gore in 2000.

*Anita Dunn: Dunn, a longtime Daschle aide, has been tasked with straightening out Obama's Hopefund PAC through the end of this year. She will not be a part of any Obama bid as she is committed as a senior strategist for Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D).

*Todd Webster: Webster is a former spokesman for Daschle and the brains behind, a draft site for the Illinois Senator that has collected some 11,000 signatures urging him to run.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 11, 2006; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 2008 Whale List Grows
Next: Romney Lands Another GOP Hill Insider


Now that Evan Bayh has elected not to run for President, does Anita Dunn stay on with the Obama team? I must add I think John Edwards is being underestimated. While I think Obama is the more charismatic of the two, it's close. And Edwards has run for President and VP before without making any missteps...while in Obama's one closely contested case, he was creamed in a US House race he was expected to win.

Posted by: Andrew Donaldson | December 17, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't be surprised if the "fair and balanced" Fox network and all of the other right wing hacks on the radio and TV start referring to him by all three names (with an emphasis on Hussein) from now on.

I guess they'll keep running the same gameplan over and over again, blinded by their own arrogance. The Repubs are worried as they don't yet have a single candidate that has the broad appeal that Obama has and that is scaring them to death. They are scared that Hillary will do the right thing and stay in the Senate (maybe cut a deal for a cabinet post in the next administration) and that Obama will be left as the lone shining star/headliner on the Democratic side.

To be honest, I think conservatives are even more afraid of him NOT winning the nomination, but being pulled in as a VP candidate, which would allow him the opportunity to gain that "all important" executive branch experience and put him first in line in 2016. its sad when a party is more concerned about who the opponent will be than they are about who their own candidate will be.


Posted by: PeixeGato | December 12, 2006 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I love the metphysical certitude (yeah stolen from Fr. John McLaughlin, S.J.; but it certainly applies today) which so many posts display in support or defense of possible candidates.

Time for a calendar check: The first caucus is 13 months away; the 1st primary is 14 months away. What that in political terms? Light years?

Now that Sen. Obama put his feet into the water in New Hampshire, look for the bright lights to burn a lot hotter on him. Until Sen. Clinton makes her move, the press will alternately fawn over him, while digging into why he was late for class once in the Third Grade, and other such things.

Unless there's a bombshell waiting out there, the positive and negative press won't mean near as much as the simple exposure.

Already heard a buffoon on national radio this morning trying the "Hussein" schtick. Nobody took the hook.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 12, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the Obama in New Hampshire rerun on CSPAN....holy sh*t but the Republicans are in extra large trouble. That man has got what this country has so sorely missed since the energy created by JFK. It's an intangible quality that comes along not nearly often enough in any walk of life, but when a person in the political scene has that essence, he's going as far as he is willing to go. Anyone who takes the time to watch and listen to him will be doing themselves and the future of America a favor. Republicans should not blow him off as just another Democrat hack...he's not the enemy, he's a leader with all of America at heart.

Posted by: bushweary | December 12, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling charitable today, so I'll give KOZ, William, and their new GOP friend some advice. The rules of the game have changed with the 2006 elections. People aren't paying attention to shrill wingers on either side anymore. If you try to run the same game in 2008 that worked in 2004 you will crash and burn. Especially against Obama, who throws his weaknesses out there and attacks them head-on with good answers. It's damn hard to smear him the way the way you can with anxious politico stiffs like H. Clinton or Kerry. It's time to be honest with yourselves about exactly what you're up against, because moderates don't care how many biased posts you can spam the board with in a day.

As for Obama's general-election electability, the few independents in this thread seem like what he has to say. I've seen many republican moderates open to voting for him on various boards who say they would never have considered Kerry. Even before his main republican opponent in Illinois self-destructed, he was up more than 20 points. Why do you think Hannity and Limbaugh are spending so much time 2 years before an election trying to paint him as naive and insincere? They certainly didn't have the same response to Kucinich jumping in the race (ha ha ha).

Your only shot at him in the general against Obama would be to run McCain as a return to the days of Reagan and make an issue out of experience. (To do this, you have to let McCain back away from Bush NOW and then still let him out of the primary.) Run a eqivalently inexperienced candidate like Romney or Huckabee and Obama's superior intellect (watch the Charlie Rose interview on Google Video) and charisma (witness his rock-star reponse) will give him a solid victory. Someone with huge negatives like Gingrich or a far-right platform like Brownback would make it a landslide.

Posted by: Nissl | December 12, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. One of the names on that list (Todd Webster, for the 0 of you who care) taught my Strategy and Message Development class this summer.

Good to know what he's up to.

Posted by: dilbert719 | December 12, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who thinks Barack Hussein Obama even as a CHANCE of being elected president EVER is out of their MIND!" --
Posted by: William

Absolutely priceless :) I guess the Democrats must have thought so, too, when they asked the then-state senator to deliver the keynote address at the DNC in 2004. I guess the thousands of people who drive huge distances to see him speak do so only because they want to hear him make a fool of himself, right? Oh, wait a sec, the current king of verbal gaffes is in the White House already, what was I thinking...

If he had no chance of becoming President, why do you suppose he has most of the Democrats and not a few of the Republicans in office as friends and supporters? You think the Republicans think he's a joke?

What's with the constant harping on his middle name? Are you that obsessed with his multi-cultural heritage? Do you think because he has an Arabic middle name that he must be a terrorist or a sympathizer? That's the implication and that sounds awfully close to racism, Billy. True class on your part. His father was a Muslim and Barack, his mother, and his family are Christian. Is that "white" enough for you?

His race is the least important aspect of who he is and has never been something he's let hinder him...he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review!

He's a devoted father who puts his family before himself (he arrived late to his recent NH trip because he was attending his daughter's ballet recital...sounds like a real scumbag to me).

And speaking of voting records, let's talk about some of things you seem to have omitted:

While in the Illinios state senate, he created the Earned Income Tax Credit that in three years, gave $100+ million in tax cuts to your average working families across the state. I guess that doesn't jibe with the pro-wealthy Republican "Feed the rich, starve the rest" philosophy, but the average working schmuck like me sure appreciated it.

His very first bill as a Senator was the Higher Education Opportunity through Pell Grant Expansion Act" which increased Pell Grant funding for students who otherwise may not have been able to afford college. Maybe that's offensive to those who would rather keep the poor and middle-class "in their place" and deny them education, but the average working schmuck like me sure appreciated him following through on his campaign promise. How many campaign promises has Dubya come through on?

Barack is one of, if not THE most bipartisan congresspersons. You don't get that reputation from being an extreme liberal or conservative, but from espousing a philosphy of government that believe compromise is the answer to getting anything done and a moderate view is what most people want in a congressperson. His actions and his words appeal to Republicans, Democrats, and independents like myself. Do you honestly believe "Anyone who thinks Barack Hussein Obama even as a CHANCE of being elected president EVER is out of their MIND!" or are you just talking to hear yourself talk?

Da Nile ain't just a river in Egypt.

Oh, and let's see some of your sources next time you post, I'd love to see what pork-barrel projects were attached to the bills he voted against or for that you didn't like. I've cited mine, let's see if you can do the same.

Posted by: Damien | December 12, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain's a "sellout" because he's not conservative enough. If the Republicans nominate him, they will lose. The Republicans can only win with a strong conservative who appeals to their base.

Obama, Kucinich, etc., are "far-left loons" because they're too liberal. If the Democrats nominate them, they will lose. The Democrats can only win with a moderate who doesn't appeal to their base.

William, why is the strategy for the Democrats so different than that for the Republicans? Why should the Democrats cater to the middle while the Republicans cater to the right?

Posted by: Blarg | December 12, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, an endorsement from Daschle. That has as much value as the Tooth Fairy recommending a daily intake of six Moon Pies washed down with four Dr Peppers.

Posted by: MH | December 12, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Actually failure's a bastard, but I wanted to keep it somewhat clean.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Where are the Bush-R? The same place as the Carter-D. Success has many fathers while failure is an orphan

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

You will have a hard time getting out the vote because the whole 'conservative' movement is a sick joke -- a total failure -- and the voters have finally figured it out.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hardwick, the only reason we will have a tough time in 08 is because getting out the vote will be hard (unless Hillary or Kuchinich or Obama is the Dem).

There are no candidates we can get excited about, since Allen imploded, Pawlenty joined the McCain team, and seemingly Sanford is waiting until 2012.

Unless Sanford or another true conservative jumps in the race, a lot of Republicans will stay home, to punish the GOP for choosing a sellout like McCain.

If the Dems do the smart thing and nominate a moderate, they stand a good chance of winning in 2008. Otherwise, it will be back to GOP majorities and a GOP presidency.

I think the strongest Dem ticket would be (since Bredesen isnt running), Bayh-Warner. Bayh-Clark wouldnt be bad either, but he seems like a flip flopper on religion (he's a Catholic-Baptist-Presbyterian.)

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

K of Z is back!!! Glory be! Is Bush still your President K? Just wondered because you haven't mentioned him once. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The fortunes of YOUR party are still tied to YOUR Fearless Leader. Your predictions (giving your record on the last election, one now takes a BIG grain of salt) of a bright future for your party depend on Fearless solving Iraq. If Iraq is an issue in '08, the Rupublican Party and its nominee will a have a very tough row to hoe.

Posted by: A Hardwick | December 12, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Does Barack Hussein Obama have a vision? Can he do anything besides say "no more partisanship, we have to unite the country."?

That's his ONLY idea. He has NO grasp of foreign policy, domestic policy, or ANYTHING else.

He was the ONLY member in the Illinois state senate to vote against a law that would prohibit child molesters from getting out of prison early.

He voted AGAINST a bill to require schools to filter internet porn off their computers.

He refused to vote against a law requiring porn shops to be banned within 1000 ft of schools.

He said that he opposes the Defense of Marriage act (signed by Clinton), and that he supports gay marriage. (Lately he has been backtracking, and saying he only supports civil unions.)

He voted for live abortions 9 TIMES in the IL senate.

These are only a FEW of Barack Hussein Obama's far-left loon voting record.

Anyone who thinks Barack Hussein Obama even as a CHANCE of being elected president EVER is out of their MIND!

The only way he will be president is if he is eventually appointed Senate pro tempore, and the POTUS, VP, and Speaker all die.

Osama Obama is the GOP Dream candidate :D

Posted by: William | December 12, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

This is the best they can do? This is all they've got? A bunch of clowns, trying to bring back the 'glory days' of a president who most of the time didn't know who he was? Whose wife stood beside him like a puppeteer, whispering in his ear what to say to reporters?

Guess who made all the presidential decisions? Nancy Reagan and her astrologe! this is their idea of a role model? This is who they want to emulate? This simply reinforces what we all know -- that the republican party is stuck in the 1970's in the cold war and has no new ideas, no vision, no ability to think of the future. And nominating John McCain, a doddering old retread himself, will only reinforce that.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't decide who's posts are more laughable - KofZ's copy-n-paste opinions or William's partisan insulting rhetoric (seriously, you have nothing else to say about Barack so you insult his name? Really highbrow debate tactic, skippy).

Way to be tools of the system, guys, really well done. Never mind that concept known as, oh, independent thought and analysis. Just spout what your party tells you and even better, generalize all Democrats and liberals in one group. That makes them much easier to hate and blame for all of your woes.

I'm an independent and damn proud of it, mostly because of tools like you on both sides of the two-sided partisan war. My friends and colleagues of both party affiliations who make informed choices and study more than the soundbites and opinions of a select few others *cringe* when you purport to represent your party. You don't represent the Republicans or the conservatives: you represent ignorant, biased, hate-mongering, venom-filled loudmouths around the world.

'nuff said...if I waste any more time on you (since you're not going to heed this anyhow), I'm only lowering myself to your level.

Posted by: Damien | December 12, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous: I agree; it looks like we've been invaded by The Night of the Living Drudged about 5 posts too late.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 12, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

HAPPY conservatives? LOL... side-splitting. The most miserable, hateful, spiteful, whining, puking, mewling spineless bedwetters in the world -- happy? Not bloody likely, Sam.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious -- these St. Ronnie the Alzheimerite wannabes are too pathetic ... a party of retreads:

Ronald Reagan once famously sounded the call to "win one for the Gipper."

Now, potential Republican presidential candidates are hoping that the Gipper will help win one for them.

In these early days of the 2008 presidential campaign, when politicians still are exploring the notion of a run and trying to fill out their political profiles, candidates are trying to glom on to a little of the luster from the Reagan glory days.

They seem to be trying to out-Reagan one another.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says his party "must return to the common sense Reagan Republican ideals of fighting for hardworking Americans."

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback offers himself as "a full-scale Ronald Reagan conservative."

Arizona Sen. John McCain, tells crowds that Reagan offered precisely the kind of leadership needed by the Republican Party today. "We can do it again if we lead and inspire as he did," he exhorts.

Questioned about whether he's too old to be president, the 70-year-old McCain has a ready retort: "Ronald Reagan wasn't."

But wait, where are all the Bush Republicans? With the president's poll numbers in the cellar, perish the thought.

"I have noticed that," said Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. "President Bush's policy failures have made him so unpopular that even Republicans, let alone Republican presidential hopefuls, don't want to be associated with him."

Brownback, in a recent Associated Press interview, passed up a chance to comment on what the Reagan lovefest might suggest about the popularity of the Bush administration, instead offering Reagan as the modern model for a "happy conservative."

"Reagan just always presented things nicely," Brownback said. "He was avuncular. He was pleasant about it. I think we have to be happy conservatives. I don't know that I get that done all the time, but I do try to do that."

Posted by: drindl | December 12, 2006 8:02 AM | Report abuse

'People like you don't understand what patriotism IS.

All you people understand is globalist socialism and amoral relativism.'

Can you believe that actual human beings [at least I presume] believe anything this profoundly simplistic and stupid?

Off the bottom of what shoe do these scrape these creatures? Or are they made in a lab to test the bottom limits of human intelligence?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 7:54 AM | Report abuse


I wonder if you and I share the same brain. Your dream scenario is EXACTLY the same as mine. Gore enters the race as the reluctant warrior and takes Obama under his wing. Obama's popularity and intrigue combined with Gore's obvious grasp of world affairs should be more than enough to demolish any ticket the GOP throws its way. Gore-Obama would win every state Gore-Lieberman won in 2000, plus Ohio, Florida, and maybe even Virginia.

Gore-Obama '08!

Posted by: zzonkmiles | December 12, 2006 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Where do you think Obama will announce?
Wichita, Honolulu, Chicago? Jarkata, Kenya?

Posted by: Tom | December 12, 2006 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Why not a Bayh/Obama ticket for 2008? I think this would have very broad appeal. I'm not sure the country is ready for a black president yet, but Obama as vp could more easily segue into the presidency later.

Posted by: mpd | December 11, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

You're joking right? Daschale was yesterday's news. I really have a hard time imagining those staffers flocking back to the guy who lost his seat as a sitting Senate leader.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 10:06 PM | Report abuse

JayPe, why does everything devolve into fierce partisan bickering? When you have absolutely nothing to offer, your only other option is to tear down others who think differently.
The country voted out a party of corruption, abuse of power, and failed policies...does that mean all those people hate America, or do they just hate the direction the country is going? It is entirely possible to love your country and not see things as simplistically (and wrong) as these neo-con/ditto heads. Grow up, people.

Posted by: Mark | December 11, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

William wrote,
But to liberals and Democrats, Iran, Hezzbollah, Al Qaeda and China "are simply misunderstood, and have a different perspective on the world." Charles Shumer wants to give the terrorists therapy.

Are you serious? Just think about that briefly, it sounds ludicrous. I can't imagine Cardin or Lieberman thinking Hezbollah are 'misunderstood'.

Why does this blog have to degenerate into such fierce partisan bickering? When it does people say the stupidest things...

Posted by: JayPe | December 11, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

William, William, WeeWillie Limbaugh wannabe.......your day is over....find a new audience ....yer done

Posted by: bushweary | December 11, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

jps - your dream sounds awesome. I wish it would happen, but...

Gore will not win because he's too good a candidate. He is very experienced, well respected worldwide, and good on important issues like the environment.

America traditionally votes for candidates who are either
a) a known poor quality, on the grounds they're not as bad as the alternatives (e.g. Dole, Kerry, H Clinton)
b) the "new" thing, hoping they turn out to do well (e.g. Clinton, Bush, Obama)

Gore may have been right for the past 6 years on every major issue that Bush got wrong, but because he's seen as yesterday's news the public will ignore him, hoping that something new will be even better. Its stupid, but it happens unfortunately.

Posted by: JayPe | December 11, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"Thoughts on Obama/Daschle 2008 or Clinton/Daschle 2008?"

A GOP dream come true :D

"I'm getting nostalgic. I saw the word Pinko used above; and over the weekend on C-Span heard a panel always specifically refer to China as "Red China.""

Yeah, believe it or not, some people still have patriotism, and still love this country, and still realize that we have enemies.

But to liberals and Democrats, Iran, Hezzbollah, Al Qaeda and China "are simply misunderstood, and have a different perspective on the world."

Charles Shumer wants to give the terrorists therapy.

And most liberals, including you, I assume, would be perfectly happy to give up our country's sovereignty to the United Nations.

People like you don't understand what patriotism IS.

All you people understand is globalist socialism and amoral relativism.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"B-Iraq Hussein"

Pathetic. Really, really pathetic.

The wingers are terrified.

Posted by: Venicemenace | December 11, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Based on the positions outlined in this article about Biden, he has my support as long as he sticks to his guns. Refreshingly candid.

Of course the success of a president doesn't necessarily rest on their experience, but on the experience of those who surround and advise their campaign and administration. As they say, garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | December 11, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting nostalgic. I saw the word Pinko used above; and over the weekend on C-Span heard a panel always specifically refer to China as "Red China."

Ahh, the Good Old Days!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Much as I hate to admit it I fear KOZ had it right when he said a while back that Hillary wins the nomination and then goes down in 'ignominous defeat'. For dems to win they'll have to win a couple states that Bush won. Don't know if Obama can do that but I'm sure Hillary can not.

Posted by: Rokkyrich | December 11, 2006 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts on Obama/Daschle 2008 or Clinton/Daschle 2008?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 7:12 PM | Report abuse

There were a group of people posting comments here before the elections that forcast an embarrassing defeat for the Dems last month. They were quiet for a while, and now they forecast defeat for the Dems in 2008. Have you considered that you might be wrong? Ask yourself, "What information would cause me to reconsider my belief?" Take a breathe and think about the long primary process, where we have the opportunity to learn new information about the people who want to lead us, and events might cause us to want new things in a leader. Why is this a game about pesonal victory? Who is happy to say, "I backed the winner who ruined my country!"

Let's try to get it right.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This blog is populated by morons and losers today. Wingers who are so full of advice [not to mention, bottomless hatred and ignorance] despite the utter and devastating failure of their policies. Dream on, deluded little neocons. Sprinkle your fairy dust and put us all to sleep...

'KOZ, thanks for that lovely canoe I can go to sleep tonight with a smile on my face!'

and now, I have to go puke.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

William: Obama-Kucinich? What the H**l are you talking about? First off, nobody believes Kucinich has a chance at winning the nomination. But, contrary to what you believe, everyone has a right to run, even if its just to make sure that certain viewpoints are heard by the national media. Unlike you cons, we liberals have a large tent and welcome a wide variety of ideas and viewpoints on the issues of the day. We don't walk goose-step behind our "leader".

Beyond that, if you have nothing constructive to say, then just be quiet. You are yet another conservative hack who can do nothing more than go on angry tirades calling people nasty names and making personal attacks. You guys just don't get it, do you? Please, contribute something of substance to this discussion.

Conservatives, stop being so angry at liberals when it is YOUR party (and YOU neo-cons) that squandered the tri-fecta of power you had over this government.

Posted by: PeixeGato | December 11, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Barack the Baby
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann"

KofZ is a serial plagiarist. If his post has a series of logically connected words, he probably stole them. That is why his arguments are not consistent with eachother. Just paste a post into Google and find out where he got it.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama-Kucinich 2008!!! That's a sure winner of a ticket.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

You pay 4000 but then the church subsidizes the rest in the form of money, and free labor (priests, and nuns) to the tune of about 20,000 a year.
Also what classroom actually has 20 students? Try more like 35. The fact is that private schools usually cost about 20,000 a year. There is your proof that it works. If we doubled the amount of money schools had to go on then you could cut class sizes in half, pay teachers more so they will stick around, encourage more teachers to sign up because the job wouldn't suck so much, pay for new textbooks, computers, science supplies, special ed, etc.
I find it funny that you will say we should implode the public education system when it has no effect on you at all since you send your kid to private school.

Posted by: Andy R | December 11, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I love this campaign season already!
Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, said Monday he is planning another bid because his party isn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.
This is great! I can hardly wait for the first debate between Obama, Kucinich, and HRC!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Total debt is a function of inflation and will almost always be the "highest " ever. but you live in the most expensive house ever and eat the most exensive food ever. the metric for economic performance can't be found in the NYT editorial pages, it is found deep in boring reports. But think about it from a personal point of view. how much per month do you pay for your bills and why does that matter? the answer is how much do you make, not necessarily how much you have in the bank. Cars are sold based on monthly payments, not total cost.

and you ignore how a professor goes about getting tenure, it is not easy and most profoessors do NOT have it. Many schools use adjunct, associate and part-time profs with no stability and little pay. you have totally mis-characterized the university teaching situation. I do teach grad school so I have some insider knowledge here.

and I am not blaming the teachers who I have found for the most part to be caring, hard-working, competent and kid loving. I must then assume it is the administrators who are to blame. As you know I always blame the admin. but this admin class has grown like weeds over the years while student test scores plummeted. now that sounds like a correlation worth investigating with SAS.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

God these comments are awful. KOZ cites someone who seems to be unable to tell the difference between total accumulated federal government debt, which is higher than it has ever been, and the current year's annual defecit, which is at a still unacceptable 2% this year. He is also under the bizarre assumption that college professors have a much less stringent labor market than public schools. If that is true, then why are US graduate schools even more ahead of their peers than undergraduate schools and they are all taught by professors with tenure. It is 10X harder to fire a professor with tenure than a public school teacher.

Andy R. seems to think that all we need to do to fix our public schools is throw more money at them when the fact fo the matter is that noone really knows what it will take to fix our school system, but one thing is for sure, school and studen performance is only loosely correlated to the amount of money spent on the school system.

This just sickens me.

Posted by: Chris | December 11, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Andy, why has the huge influx of money over the last 20 years not caused the performance of schools to waver in the least? If your premise is correct, we should have seen some improvement by doubling federal education dollars. but you haven't. We are now spending about 8000 per year per student, which multplies to about 160,000 per classroom. sounds like alot. why do the catholic schools which charge much less than this do so well? why does my little kid, who we pay about 4000 per year do so well? answer- it is not the money or you would see the effect. Unless you believe that I will reach some elevated level of expense where ALL the benefit will suddenly kick in, say right at $39,000. is that your premise?
My local community college is pretty cheap and does a good job. explain that.

Unless you prefer to defend the status quo and the endless donation to failure - the standard Dem excuse. Try using it on socail security, it is the same argument. Saves you from thinking too hard though and it is, after all, other people's money.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, thanks for that lovely canoe I can go to sleep tonight with a smile on my face! Hillary definitely has the money and power...maybe the left wing of the party will stop flip-flopping and decide that they think she's worthy.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

you must excuse the Dems, a little hope is all they really have. the reality of the situation is that hillary will use her enormous (you thought I was going to say thighs) wealth and power to obtain the nomination and then go down in ignominious defeat, just like the last Lib presidents. the house and Senate will revert back to R after two years of empty promises. the entire Dem party will then be sent out to sea in a burning canoe, never to return to majority status. their only hope is for the new, younger, sane Dems to form their own party. evne the press won't be able to stop it next time around. Dems frugal, honest, strong and brave? Ha ha ha were you sold a timeshare for full retail price. but one week a year it isn't bad. the rest of the time, you send your check for nothing.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The reason our collegiate system is so strong is money. Period. It cost over 40,000 a year to go to Harvard. It costs with tuition and public support about 20,000 to go to a state university. That doesn't include the insane amounts of money that universities get from federal grants (which your taxes pay for). Now we spend about 6-8,000 dollars a year on a high school student depending on where you live. You want our high schools and elementary schools to compete then double the federal budget for education. We could accomplish this with one day of funding for the war in Iraq. ONE DAY! We build schools so insurgents can blow them up in Iraq, but you want one built in southside Chicago. NO way!!

Posted by: Andy R | December 11, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Carter... uggh!... OMG if I have to listen to any more of his drivel I*m gonna puke. Just because the Dems took the House and Senate, now we have to listen to him again! He might try peanut-farming in Palestine, since he likes them so much.
Obama-love-fest 08 will hopefully die down in a while or else he*ll start touring with Bono. Gawd, I haven*t heard the term *Rock Star* as much since 2000 when Howard Dean imploded.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The thought of Al Gore running again makes me burst into laughter. That loon? PLEASE! Run him. I think the RNC must have a few pics of his beard that can be made into a nice ad.

The Inconvenient Truth is that Gore is done in politics. The country rejected him. By By Al. Go back to protesting the evil oil companies.

You're going to drag Big Al out from the mists of time? Oh goodness. I think my bowels just let loose, I'm laughing so hard.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Some of the commentary here reflects all that is wrong with contemporary politics. Sen. Daschle's announcement may or may not be newsworthy. He's an honorable man who did his best during trying times in the Senate. Comments such as "who's he" or "who cares" demonstrate a bad side of today's political discourse.

Posted by: muleman | December 11, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Tom Daschle had no shot, his wimpering "leadership" gave Bush free reign. Al Gore is the man.

Posted by: Dan Hill | December 11, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Osama is a pinko loser who has no substance. All he ever says is "we need to reach beyond politics and end partisanship" or "we need to unite the country."

He is a naive idiot with no ideas, trying to capitalize on his star power. Star power might be enough before he enters the race, but when he does, he will have to debate people like Evans and Clinton and Vilsack, who, even though they are left wing loons, at least have a lot of experience and cohesive ideas.

And then Barack Hussein Obama will be exposed for what he is: a brainless moron whose handlers paint him as new and unique and "full of hope".

When Barack Hussein Osama actually has to take positions on issues, and debate other people's ideas, the "walking hope machine" will run out of gas.

All he has are nice sounding slogans, and no ideas. Nice slogans are all you need to win the Democratic primary, since Democrats would nominate Kucinich if they thought he could win. But to win the election, B-Iraq Hussein wont have what it takes.

And his book is retarded.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama's views not liberal, how about his votes then? Are you going to fall for the rhetoric AGAIN and vote based on lies and false promises? Examine his actual voting record, what there is of it. It didn't take long to acheive a 100% approval for abortion. In two years he is already rated as one of the most liberal voters in the Senate, and that isn't easy with those old lefty dinsaurs over there. Maybe Jimmmy carter doesn't look so bad in this new light, at least he was a governor once and ran a peanut biz.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Who is Daschle anyway?

Come on down Jesse and Al!

Posted by: Fred | December 11, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk +1

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Can you explain to me why the US college system is the best or close to it in the world, yet the elementary and high school is the pits? answer - the market system. One competes, the other coasts. One reacts, the other intracts. One cares about students and performance, the other about teachers and pay. One can hire for a semester based on qualifications, the other can't fire ever for any reason. OK, a little hyperbole for effect but a radical change is in order, not baby steps about scoring some teachers. the FP reviewer seems to have it right about all style and no substance. teachers do not enter the profession for pay so adding a 5% bonus to the good math teacher is going to be ineffectual. Much more pressure needs to be exerted on the entire system to comply with some performance metrics.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Daschle? Are you kiddin' me? This guy made an announcement that he was not running in 2008? Who cares about him?!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -- You should actually read Obama's book before you criticize. What Makes Obama interesting is that his views on issues really aren't liberal or conservative. Nor do they seek to simply triangulate and obscure differences the way that Clinton did -- which, incidentally, isn't necessarily a criticism of Clinton. Senator Obama is literally looking for a new way to look at and talk about pressing issues.

Now, OBVIOUSLY his solutions aren't going to be the same one's you would pick. You don't pretend to be a moderate or anything by firmly conservative. Fair enough. But I would think that you would be interested to know that -- for example -- he says explicitly in his new book that he thinks we need to be willing to experiment with merit-based pay for teachers. He's also strongly in favor of teacher accountability generally.

Now, I'm sure that approach doesn't sound good to you -- since it doesn't just blow up the public education system as you'd prefer -- but it is refreshing in the sense that it rejects the traditional dogmatic approach to a tough issue.

Posted by: Colin | December 11, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's elect another Jimmy Carter who will get us so far up the creek, it will take decades to float back down. Let's start another malaise, lets invade Iran with 4 helos, lets fix prices, lets wear sweaters, lets turn off Christmas lights, lets boycott Olympics, lets eliminate the CIA, military and FBI, lets slash DoD budgets. Lets be afraid of rabbits. this is what electing someone with no experience, lefty values and promises of being an outsider with no experience will get you. remember? One term and out, what were we thinking?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

So what about Grecco?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"all 10 of the top congressional recipients of privately-funded travel since 2000 are Democrats."

from WSJ today.

going to be hard to live up to those empty campaign promises. what with Hastings, Mollohan, Jefferson, Reid, Murtha, Leaky Leahy, Kennedy, all crooked liars.

"Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the incoming chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Based on the number of trips taken, she is the No. 1 traveler in the House, logging in at 74 trips since 2000, an average of almost one a month. Her journeys have included a 2005 Las Vegas conference paid for by the United Steelworkers and a speech in Barbados earlier this year sponsored by the National Bar Association."

I have personally always supported trips and pork spending but if you run on eliminating it, you should. Bait and switch, the new Dem mantra.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The whole "experience" issue as it relates to being President is such bullsh*t!

Tell me, how does someone develop the necessary experience? By running for office and serving as a governor, Senator, etc.? Great, Obama spends the next several years making compromise after compromise, all for the sake of campaign cash -- becasue that's all politics is really about: compromise and cash.

The allure of Obama is that he is energetic and inspiring. Please, G-d, please, let him run before those qualities get beaten out of him by the political establishment.

Posted by: Independent Thinker | December 11, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Here is my dream scenario for 2008: Obama buys the CW that he is too inexperienced at the moment to run for President. He gives Al Gore a call. Gore jumps into the race and declares before the primaries start (w/ Obama by his side) that if he should win the nomination, he would pick Obama as his VP. Obama campaigns for Gore, Gore wins...Gore/Obama 2008!

8 years later, President Obama.

One can dream...

Posted by: jps | December 11, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The scrutiny begins:

"He talks like a moderate, but he votes like a liberal.

This deception, which he shares in common with Hillary, would be par for the Washington course. But it is the sound bites that festoon his book that lead one to suspect that he really doesn't understand the facts or the issues.

For example, he writes, "we say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt." Really? Has the senator noticed that the deficit is now down to only a bit more than 2% of our GDP, or is that sound bite too precious to lose in the face of the facts?

Or - he accuses us of tolerating "schools that don't teach, that are chronically underfunded and understaffed and underinspired." We hate to get in the way of his speechwriter's momentum, but how about the central issues: teacher incompetence, the need for merit pay and the importance of waiving tenure to get rid of bad instructors?

He speaks of an increasingly wealthy "knowledge class" of Americans able to purchase "whatever they want on the marketplace -- private schools, private health care, private security and private jets." But then he opposes the voucher system designed to give the poor parity in purchasing power for private education.

And then he says that voters are tired of "sound bite solutions to complicated problems." So are his readers.

Senator Barack Obama could indeed represent something new in our politics instead of something old and simply repackaged. He could step up and truly develop a third way, carrying on where Bill Clinton left off on issues of poverty, race, standards, education and global competitiveness. But Bill Clinton worked hard at grappling with our problems and designing real solutions. He immersed himself in the data and worked hard to learn how to be president.

But Obama is taking the easy way out - skimming the surface, sloganeering and hiding behind Democratic orthodoxy while pretending to be something else."

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I think what contibuted in a large part to Daschle's 2004 loss was his high profile as the leader of the Senate Democrats.

The Dakotas, which are socially conservative to libertarian leaning, but economically populist, usually send liberal lawmakers to Washington (Dorgan, Johnson, Herseth, COnrad, etc.)

All of those above that I mentioned generally keep a low profile. They have solidly liberal voting records, but never get much attention. However Daschle's high profile caused his record, and his stand on the issues to be much more visible, and therefore more vulnerable to someone like Thune, who was previously SD's at large Congressman.

I don't think Daschle would have been very successful as a candidate anyway. He's too quiet, not very exciting. Also, his stature was weakened severely by his 2004 loss. He might be a consideration for VP, but I doubt it.

Someone above said that "wingers" (I thought that was a food) are "terrified" of Obama.

Ummm, the Chicago Tribune just endorsed him in the Democratic primaries. Don't you wonder WHY a Republican newspaper would do something like that?

I was watching FOX News Watch the other day, and the only liberal guy on the panel said "I think conservative media outlets like FOX and the C.T are urging Obama to run because they know he is a very weak candidate against a GOP nominee."

And all the Republicans on the panel (Cal Thomas, etc) went "SHHHHHH!!!!!"

I think at first conservatives were wary of Obama, but when they realized all his negatives, they realized he would be their dream Dem nominee.

Obama has never come under the intense scrutiny that presidential candidates undergo.

I wouldn't be suprised if there are a few skeletons in the closet that will sink his candidacy once they come out.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz"

nothing like an intel committee with no intelligance. sounds like the way Dems run things.

Oh and I forgot - Jefferson wins re-election despite $90K in freezer. Not that I hold anything against the voters, but how dumb do you have to be to vote Dem AND vote for him. As dumb as a rock? As dumb as an intel committee chair?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 11, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama would appear to have a number of attributes that could easily carry him all the way to the White House. Heavy with charisma, thoughtful answers to hard questions and, I've got the feeling, the ability to fend off right wing cheap shots the way Kerry could only dream of. Too early to hoist him on the pedistal right now? Sure. But watch him closely...I don't see him stumbling.... but of course it's WAY early.

Posted by: Bill H | December 11, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama would appear to have a number of attributes that could easily carry him all the way to the White House. Heavy with charisma, thoughtful answers to hard questions and, I've got the feeling, the ability to fend off right wing cheap shots the way Kerry could only dream of. Too early to hoist him on the pedistal right now? Sure. But watch him closely...I don't see him stumbling.... but of course it's WAY early.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting...I'm a big Obama fan, voted for him when I still lived in Illinois and hope he's President one day. Whether or not he should run in 2008 is something I'm not sure of (not that it matters, of course). Barack is the first one to say he's concerned at the lack of experience that will surely be a primary point of assault for Clinton and any others he faces in the primary (and hopefully general) election, but if you consider the win/loss record for the past 40+ years of "experienced" senators who've run for President, experience might actually hurt him. Either way, unless he does something drastic to shoot himself in the foot, I think we'll be seeing him on the presidential ballot in 2012. Whether it's as the incumbent or challenger is the question... Thanks for the informative post Chris!

Posted by: Damien | December 11, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait fir the fight between Obama and Clinton. Bring it on...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Dasche is a nice enough guy, but a joke to think of as a serious candidate. Too quiet, doesn't fight back. He let the repugs roll over him in office.

I find Obama appealing, but I'm not sure what I think of hm as a candidate. Just too young, I think to be president.

However, it's clear that he scares the bejesus out of the wingers. Both Sean Hnnity and Rush Limbaugh are spending lots and lots of time trashing him and calling him Barack HUSSEIN Osama -- so you know he's got them nervous. They don't have anyone remotely like him -- terrific appeal to the young, hopeful, charismatic. All they have is a bunch of crabby, dying old men.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris, thanks for info. I never realized such a connection existed. I wonder if this will influence Daschle to become an early supporter of Obama. Even though Daschle is no longer in the Senate, he would still be a super delegate (I think). On the Democratic side, as you well know, the presidential nominating process consists of rounding up super delegates in addition to garnering delegates awarded through the primaries and caucuses.

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 11, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the Scoop Jackson size of the crowds for Evan Bayh in New Hampshire yesterday Anita Dunn may not have to worry too much about a long term committment.


Posted by: Rob | December 11, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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