White House Stacked With Daschle Alums
Former senator is well-connected in Obama administration
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2009 10:36 AM CST
Barack Obama stands with Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, at a news conference in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Nobody is wired into Washington like Tom Daschle. If he survives the controversy, he’ll enter office with a web of allies and former aides inside the Beltway and the White House, the Washington Post reports. During Daschle’s 30 years in Congress, including 10 as Senate Democratic leader, a cadre of acolytes formed. “This is notable for the breadth and scope and number,” a former Clinton staffer said.

Daschle left the Senate the year Barack Obama entered it, and he handed off his team to the new star. “It was a ready-made team,” a Daschle friend notes. Among the inherited staffers were his chief of staff, legislative aides, political consultants, lawyers—everybody. If confirmed, “Daschle gets to deal directly with people he knows and is comfortable with,” a former aide says.