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Obama's Cabinet
Secretary of HHS - Tom Daschle (Unofficial)
12.1.08, 03:08 PM CST
7 of 10
‹‹ Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano (Announced) Secretary of Commerce - Bill Richardson (Unofficial) ››

Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, representing South Dakota’s only House seat. He served four terms before running for the U.S. Senate. In 1986, Mr. Daschle defeated Republican Senator James Abdnor in a close election. Mr. Daschle became the first member from South Dakota to gain a leadership position in the U.S. Congress when he became Co-Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee in 1988.

Mr. Daschle was elected Democratic Leader in 1994, the second quickest rise to the position after Lyndon Johnson. Mr. Daschle became one of the longest serving Democratic Leaders in history and easily won reelection in his home state in 1992 and 1998.

In an historic upset, the still Democratic Leader and Senate Minority Leader lost reelection for his Senate seat in 2004 to former Rep. John Thune. Two years earlier Mr. Thune had barely lost to South Dakota's other Democratic Senator Tim Johnson by 524 votes. Mr. Daschle lost the seat by a 51-49 margin, becoming the first majority or minority leader to lose reelection since Barry Goldwater defeated Ernest McFarland in 1952.

After working at K Street law firm Alston & Bird in the years following his loss, Mr. Daschle endorsed Barack Obama for President in February of 2007. Mr. Daschle then served as one of the Obama Presidential campaign’s national co-chairs.

‹‹ Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano (Announced) Secretary of Commerce - Bill Richardson (Unofficial) ››