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Daschle Will Not Seek Presidency

December 2, 2006, 5:45 PM by Matt Belanger

Daschle Will Not Seek Presidency
He served as a senator representing South Dakotans in Washington for more than 25 years and has invested more than a year laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign.

Tom Daschle was expected to make a decision about running for president by the end of the year, and Saturday afternoon, he told KELOLAND News he has decided not to seek the United States' highest office in 2008.

“I've made a decision that I will not seek the presidency of the United States,” Daschle said.

He's spent decades representing South Dakota as a leader in the U.S. Senate. But after visits to key presidential primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Daschle says he won't seek a run for the White House. 

“I've had a lot of encouragement and I've been very gratified to have the encouragement from within the state and around the country,” Daschle said. 

Daschle's decision comes just days after another democratic hopeful declared he will run for president. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack announced his candidacy on Thursday.

“Well I think Tom, Tom Vilsack has shown himself to be an incredibly good governor, very successful in doing a number of things, working with both sides of the aisle,” Daschle said.

But while Daschle says Vilsack has a good chance as a candidate, he also adds a note of caution.

“It's an uphill battle for somebody from the Midwest but clearly he's got what it takes and I think he's going to do well,” he said. 

Daschle's former campaign manager says there were a number of factors that played into his decision, including the daunting task of raising the estimated $50 million needed for a presidential race. 

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