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.Politicians don't schedule major speeches in Iowa unless they are thinking of campaigning for the Presidency. Daschle, whose ego has probably not fully recovered from losing his Senate seat to John Thune, probably fancies himself a viable option. And really, when you consider how far to the left certain forces are trying to pull the Democrats as a party, why wouldn't a big lefty like Tom Daschle want to throw his hat in the ring.
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."
Daschle's flack tries to temper expectations:
But Hildebrand insisted that Daschle's appearance is not about running for the presidency. It is about supporting his Democratic friends in Iowa, he said.Yeah, right. Not today.Politicians always aspire to higher office, because that's where the power is. Congressmen aim for the Senate. Senators lust after the Oval Office. That's politics, and Tom Daschle, no matter what anyone says, is a politician to the core.
"He is not today looking at his options for higher office," Hildebrand said.
Daschle and his people can say what they want, but the fact is that if Daschle's newly-raised profile has any kind of traction with Democrat voters, he should probably be considered in any discussions about potential 2008 Presidential candidates.
Think of how much fun it would be to see Daschle and Hillary go at each other in a no-holds-barred primary knife fight...