The Party No One Wanted to Attend

Nuggets from the farewell to the now-cancelled Tom Daschle Show:

“Tom wasn’t wild about this, to tell you the truth,” said his wife, Linda Daschle, an airline industry lobbyist, as she surveyed the room of about 400 guests, including nearly all 44 Democratic senators. “He wasn’t about looking back. But so many of his Senate family wanted to say thank you.”

Did the junior senator from New York think that everybody there was wishing Election 2004 had gone a different way?

“Oh, boy, totally,” said Hillary Clinton. “I still haven’t absorbed it.”

“I honestly wish I were not here tonight, that this dinner were not happening,” said Nevada’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s new minority leader.

One consultant said to another, “I have a plan for rebranding ourselves in the South. I’ll send you a position paper.”

And Max Cleland, whom party lore lionizes as the first Democratic senator to fall to Republican character assassination, in 2002, also delivered a poem that was hardly gracious. “This message to those who attack you,” he warned; “you reap what you sow, so watch your back. We’re still following the leader, and you can all go to hell.”

Daschle made a joke about his changed circumstances.

“I got in the car to come over here tonight, and then a few minutes later, Linda got in the car. We sat there a couple of minutes. Then Linda said, ‘If this car is going to get us there, you better get in the driver’s seat.’ “

Meanwhile, you all can come up with your own caption for this photo:

Here’s mine: “Edwards & Daschle: Political partners whose poverty of ideas paralyzed their party.”