Tom Daschle's hometown newspaper-the Sioux Falls Argus Leader-ran a breathless banner headline on Jan. 7: "HE'S RUNNING; Friends Say Daschle To Announce Decision To Seek Presidency As Soon As Saturday." But Daschle ducked, choosing to stay in the Senate instead. Why? Some say losing the Senate hurt him severely with grassroots activists. Others say he'll wait until '08.
But his hopes of regaining the Senate just got tougher. Conservative Georgia Democrat Sen. Zell Miller says he won't run in '04, giving the GOP a real shot at a pickup. Sen. Daschle's move clears the way for Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Florida Sen. Bob Graham, and former Army General Wesley Clark, who has not yet declared himself a Democrat.