Kevin Abourezk: Tom Daschle for vice president?

"Chuck Jacobs was there in 1999 when former President Bill Clinton visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Clinton did a lot for Jacobs' tribe during his term in office, said the Oglala Sioux tribal council member. And he believes former first lady Hillary Clinton would be good for Indian people as well.

But he sees something in Sen. Barack Obama, a depth of character and a level of respect for Indian interests that he finds appealing. Even more so now that he knows former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle is one of the Illinois senator's closest advisers.

"He's had some ups and downs with the tribes, but I think he's learned from it," Jacobs said of Daschle. "He's evolved into an advocate for tribal interests."

By all accounts, Daschle is signed on to the Obama campaign, giving the senator his much-coveted political support, list of donors and even former members of his staff.

According to Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman, no less than six former Daschle staffers now are working for Obama, including Steven Hildebrand, who ran Daschle's last Senate campaign and is now serving as Obama's senior campaign adviser.

Could Obama's sensitivity to Indian issues be due, in part, to his many connections to Daschle?"

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Could Vice President Daschle Help Tribes? (RezNet News 4/14)

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