September 19, 2004


In Debate, Thune Claims Daschle Undermined Troop Morale (Thomas Ferraro, September 19, 2004, Reuters)

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, fighting for political survival, angrily rejected Republic challenger John Thune's claim Sunday that he had emboldened the enemy in Iraq and undermined U.S. troop morale.

Thune also charged Daschle had become an embarrassment to their home state of South Dakota by obstructing President Bush in the Republican-led Senate on matters from energy policy to conservative judicial nominees.

"His effort to demonize me won't work in South Dakota," Daschle fired back during a nationally broadcast debate with Thune, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives who polls show running in a close race with Daschle for the Senate.

"John's attacks on me, where I come from, would earn a trip to the woodshed," Daschle said, accusing Thune of deliberately misrepresenting his record. "He knows that's wrong."

Thune, sitting at Daschle's side on NBC's "Meet the Press," which hosted the showdown, ripped into the Democratic senator.

"The people of South Dakota are tired of being branded as a state where their senator is the guy who obstructs everything that they believe in," Thune said. "I believe that is embarrassing to South Dakota."

Mr. Daschle didn't "fire back" so much as quiver at him in that fake emotional way he's perfected. The nice thing for Mr. Thune is that he can just start running the Senator's comments side by side with the similar ones that John Kerry is spouting and throw in Ted Kennedy for good measure. Drape the Democratic Party's presidential nominee around Senator Daschle's neck and the election's half won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 19, 2004 7:09 PM

I watched the show on tv. I thought that Daschle was going to start crying.

Posted by: AllenS at September 19, 2004 7:42 PM

You'd think by now he'd know enough to emulate the rancher, not the sheep.

Posted by: oj at September 19, 2004 7:48 PM


Do you think he was "deeply saddened"?

Posted by: Jeff at September 19, 2004 8:07 PM


Saddened enough to almost start crying.

Posted by: AllenS at September 19, 2004 8:15 PM

Thune's right - the rest of the country scratches its head trying to figure out why a deep red state keeps sending to the senate the #1 obstructionist to the GOP and President Bush. Let's hope they figure it out this time.

Posted by: AWW at September 19, 2004 9:16 PM

Thune has only to ask Daschle one question - are you voting for John F. Kerry on Nov. 2?

The rest is gravy.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 19, 2004 9:24 PM

If he wasn't saddened, he was disappointed.

Posted by: Sandy P at September 19, 2004 10:25 PM

I felt almost sorry for Daschle.

He looked incredibly stressed and Thune was just tearing him a new hole.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at September 20, 2004 5:34 AM

Actually, I'm saddened and disappointed and I want my mommy.

Posted by: Tom Daschle at September 20, 2004 9:52 AM

>Mr. Daschle didn't "fire back" so much as
>quiver at him in that fake emotional way he's

You mean vibrating like a yapping pee-all-over-the-floor toy lapdog?

Posted by: Ken at September 20, 2004 12:46 PM