Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Daschle Descending VIII: Giago Out

He may not represent South Dakota's agenda very well, but one must give Senator Tom Daschle credit for honing his personal manipulation skills to a fine edge in many a cloakroom deal session. As the Washington Post reports:

When Tim Giago, a native of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, decided to run for the Senate as an independent, he did more than shake up the state's tight, closely watched race between Senate Democratic leader Thomas A. Daschle and John Thune, a former Republican representative. ... After a meeting with Daschle on Saturday, Giago, a nationally syndicated columnist and advocate for Indian causes, said he is withdrawing and throwing his weight behind the Democrat. Giago [is] founder of the Lakota Journal and Pueblo Journal. .... While Giago would not go into detail about the issues he and Daschle discussed, he has said that he wanted Daschle to open dialogue on returning the sacred Black Hills to the tribes of the Sioux Nation, and to help remedy the lack of economic opportunities on the state's reservations, the poorest in the country. Giago had expressed distress that Daschle did not seem open to discussing the Black Hills.

What's particularly curious here is that Tom Daschle has little clout to deliver whatever it is that Mr. Giago thinks he's been promised, even if Senator Daschle retains his Senate minority leader role after the election - which itself is by no means a certainty.

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