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Daschle No Longer Considering Presidential Run

December 2, 2006, 9:36 PM by Matt Belanger

Daschle No Longer Considering Presidential Run
He represented South Dakota in Washington for more than 25 years and has been laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign, but now, former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle has confirmed he's not going to seek the presidency in 2008.

Daschle says several factors played into his decision, including the daunting task of raising the estimated $50 million needed for a presidential race. He says it wasn't an easy choice to make and he's also not ruling out other political positions in the future. Not long ago, Daschle was sounding and acting like a presidential candidate. 

"The presidency of George W. Bush is effectively over,” he said, addressing a group of Democrats in Iowa in November, 2005. 

Daschle spent time in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire gauging public support for a possible run for the White House. Daschle said all along he'd make his intentions known publicly by the end of this year and Saturday afternoon that's exactly what he did.

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

Daschle enjoyed a warm reception in Iowa. He spoke of taking back the country from Republican control, proposed an exit strategy from Iraq and pushed for America's energy independence. 

“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. 

Now, just like after the 2004 Senate race that ended his Congressional career, there are questions surrounding Daschle's future. The politician once known for his unscheduled driving tours of South Dakota now says he's not sure what the road ahead will bring.

“While I expect that I will stay involved in public life for a long time to come and while I could reenter public life and an elected position at some point in the future, I like what I'm doing right now and I made the decision not to run,” Daschle said. 

Daschle says he sees this year as a great opportunity to elect a Democratic president, and he has still a great desire to be involved in a presidential campaign. Since leaving the Senate, Daschle has taught college classes, worked for a Washington law firm and spent time writing a book. 

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