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Tom Daschle

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Essay title: Tom Daschle


Tom Daschle was born into a working class family on December 9, 1947 in

Aberdeen, South Dakota. Tom was the eldest of four brothers and became the first to

graduate from college in 1969 with a political science degree form South Dakota State

University. After graduating college, Tom joined the United States Air Force Strategic

Air Command. Tom served three years as an intelligence officer. After the Air Force,

Tom became an aide to then South Dakota Senator James Abourezk.

In 1978 Tom was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served four

terms and soon became part of the Democratic Leadership. In 1979 he was elected Rocky

Mountain Regional Whip and from 1982-1986, Tom remained Whip-at-large. Tom

quickly gained a reputation for humility and a willingness to compromise. He also

became known to his critics as a wolfish partisan, whose strong opinions were only

partially disguised by a lamb's demeanor.

In 1986, Tom ran for the U.S. Senate where he won a tough contest against the

incumbent James Abnor. After being elected, Tom received the honor of being appointed

to the Senate Finance Committee. Tom became the first South Dakota Senator to be

appointed a leadership position when in 1988, Senate Democratic Leader George

Mitchell selected Tom the first ever co-chair of the Democratic Policy Committee. Tom

Daschle was the first U.S. Senator to hire a full-time economic development director and

he also made it easier for South Dakotans to reach him by establishing a toll-free

telephone line to his office.

South Dakotans re-elected Tom to the Senate in 1992 and 1998. In addition to his

leadership duties, Tom also serves as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee,

Veterans Committee, Indian Affairs Committee, Finance Committee, and the Ethic

Committee. Senator Daschle has insisted on fiscal responsibility and discipline from both

Congress and the White House. Urging his policy of fiscal responsibility, Senator

Daschle has advised Congress to use the unprecedented budget surpluses to pay down the

national debt, lock up Social Security and Medicare for future generations, cut taxes for

working families and invest in other important priorities such as agriculture, education,

crime fighting and healthcare. Tom has pushed for fair competition for family farmers

and ranchers and worked to make certain that quality education and healthcare are made

available to rural communities. Senator Daschle constantly fights for Veterans to get

them the benefits they deserve for their dedication to our country. Tom has also fought

for legislation protecting the rights of Native Americans. He has also ensured that rural

Americans are not left behind in the "New Economy". He ensures this by fighting for

universal access to the latest technology and technical training. Senator Daschle has also

been a strong supporter of Community Oriented Policing Service or COPS, which has

been successful in bringing police officers closer to the communities they live in.

Senator Daschle supports a ‘Patient's Bill of Rights' whereby power would be

transferred to the purchaser

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