No Fundraisers on Daschle’s Book Tour

Posted October 28, 2003 at 6:14pm

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) launches a national tour next week to promote his new book on the 107th Congress, but he has no plans to raise money for his colleagues or the Democratic Party while on the road.

Earlier this year, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee asked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) to squeeze in several fundraisers as she traveled the country to tout her memoir, “Living History.”

Clinton agreed, but a similar request of Daschle has not be made. Unlike Daschle, who is running for re-election next year, Clinton does not face the voters again until 2006.

“He does not have any DSCC events that are currently scheduled this year,” said Ranit Schmelzer, the Senator’s spokeswoman.

Instead, Daschle will focus his time solely on promoting “Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever,” as well as raising money for his own campaign war chest.

Even though he has no announced opponent, Daschle has aggressively been stocking his coffers should a serious challenger emerge. Republican leaders are strongly encouraging former Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.) to make the race.

As of Sept. 30, Daschle reported having more than $3 million in the bank, and he has plans to add to it in the next month.

The Minority Leader plans to crisscross the country to attend fundraisers in South Dakota as well as Boston, Denver and Nashville. And in December, Daschle will hold fundraisers in Florida, Rhode Island and again in his home state.

Even though he is out raising money for his own campaign, a senior political adviser to Daschle noted that the Minority Leader remains engaged in the DSCC’s fundraising and recruitment operation.

“Tom Daschle has raised money, continues to raise money and will continue to raise money for the DSCC even as he runs his own reelection campaign,” said Anita Dunn, a senior political strategist for Daschle. “Given the fact that he faces a potentially competitive race, raising money for his re-election ultimately saves the DSCC money.”

Still, most of his free time over the next few weeks is going to be spent signing books and discussing the content of his tome. He has an aggressive publicity schedule that is initially focused on New York, South Dakota and Washington.

The tour starts Monday in his home state and quickly shifts back to the nation’s capital, where he has four signings scheduled next week.

In two weeks, Daschle heads north to New York City for a series of interviews with network and cable outlets, including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” as well as book signings and an event at the 92nd Street Y.

Daschle said the book begins with the 2000 presidential elections and covers such topics as Sen. Jim Jeffords’ (I-Vt.) defection from the Republican Party, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the anthrax attack directed at his office in October 2001 and the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“This is an unprecedented time in American history,” Daschle said Tuesday. “I think history unfolds at accelerated periods during certain times, generally during and after wars.

“I think in 2000 and 2002 history was accelerated again, in such a way that has caused dramatic changes in the way we live, in the way we think,” he added.

Daschle is donating all proceeds from his book to charity but has decided not to disclose the recipients.