Tom Daschle On Senate Dysfunction: I Didn't 'Have A Clue' What I Was Voting For A Lot Of The Time

08/03/2010 08:52 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • George Packer The New Yorker

[Former Senate Majority Leader Tom] Daschle sketched a portrait of the contemporary senator who is too busy to think: 'Sometimes, you're dialling for dollars, you get the call, you've got to get over to vote, you've got fifteen minutes. You don't have a clue what's on the floor, your staff is whispering in your ears, you're running onto the floor, then you check with your leader-you double check-but, just to make triple sure, there's a little sheet of paper on the clerk's table: The leader recommends an aye vote, or a no vote. So you've got all these checks just to make sure you don't screw up, but even then you screw up sometimes. But, if you're ever pressed, "Why did you vote that way?" -you just walk out thinking, Oh, my God, I hope nobody asks, because I don't have a clue.'"

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