01/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tom Daschle: Clintonizer to Obamanizer

This morning, President-elect Barack Obama formally announced his plan to nominate former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle as his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle would also receive a White House office, Obama said, so he could spearhead the effort to fix America's healthcare system. Obama added that Daschle, who took charge of the Senate Democrats after the Republicans seized Congress in 1994, is "known for speaking softly, but leading boldly."

A Joe Klein piece titled "The Clintonizer," which appeared in the July 14, 1997, issue of the magazine, fleshed-out that reputation:

For the past three years, Bill Clinton has been very successful in choosing his legislative fights--perhaps because Tom Daschle has helped him do it. In a less than overpowering Presidency, this has been a stunning bit of intimidation. "When these situations arise," Presidential assistant Rahm Emanuel says, "the President's first question is 'What does Tom think?'"

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