Press "Enter" to skip to content

Daschle Joins Group to Bring Rural Trump Voters Back to Sensible Progressive Values

Tom Daschle is lending his name to an effort to rebuild Democratic fortunes in rural America. Rural Forward, a 501(4)c non-profit dedicated to “advocating for progressive policies in rural America,” announced yesterday that the former Majority Leader from South Dakota has signed on as an “honorary co-chair” along with former Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and former Iowa Governor and Obama USDA chief Tom Vilsack. Rural Forward plans the following actions:

  • Holding town hall forums and round table discussions with voters and rural leaders about progressive issues and policies
  • Meeting with editorial boards and rural and agribusiness reporters
  • Working with progressive elected officials and candidates on progressive policies and issues for rural America
  • Advocating for progressive issues in rural areas with elected officials
  • Educating the public about how progressive policies have benefited rural America
  • Distributing fact sheets, policy papers and talking points to activists, surrogates, voters and candidates
  • Advocating for investments in rural America with progressive groups, donors and the Democratic Party.
  • Engaging rural voters over social media [Rural Forward, press release, 2018.04.16].

Donald Trump brought out the worst in rural voters in 2016; Daschle thinks Trump’s destructive policies will help Rural Forward bring rural voters back to their senses:

Tom Daschle
Tom Daschle

But with Trump’s numbers sagging across the board (even though they’re not nearly as bad in less populated areas), Democrats see an opportunity to bounce back. And they think he’s giving them opportunities with things like his trade war with China, which risks badly hurting farmers who would face the brunt of retaliatory tariffs, or the GOP push to end Obamacare, which would have put rural hospitals in a bind.

“We think the longer he has the opportunity to show his true priorities, the more likely it is that we’re going to one again demonstrate a resurgence and a real opportunity to develop a strong two-party system,” Daschle said [Cameron Joseph, “Daschle, Top Dem Ex-Lawmakers Launch Rural Progressive Group,” Talking Points Memo, 2018.04.16].

Boy, Tom, bring a couple town halls and some fact sheets on those points here to your hometown this fall! Aberdeen voters need to hear that message from you!


  1. owen reitzel 2018-04-17 08:26

    “Boy, Tom, bring a couple town halls and some fact sheets on those points here to your hometown this fall! Aberdeen voters need to hear that message from you!”

    All of South Dakota needs to hear this. Sadly I don’t how much it’ll help. I know Cory, I’m cynical

  2. Nick Nemec 2018-04-17 09:06

    My rural “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” neighbors and I have been benefiting from the progressive, dare I say it liberal, policies of the New Deal for over 80 years. Were it not for rural telephone cooperatives, rural electric cooperatives, rural water cooperatives, agricultural subsidies, social security and Medicare life out here in rural America would be a much meaner more miserable existence. We need to be reminded of this on a regular basis, maybe eventually it will sink in.

  3. Rorschach 2018-04-17 17:52

    God bless him, he went to DC and decided to raise his family there and stay there permanently. Nice of him to come visit and explain why we all shouldn’t get out like he did.

  4. Donald Pay 2018-04-17 21:27

    I like it, but Ror beat me to what I think is a problem that can be addressed by a slight rejiggering. It looks too top-down and DC-oriented. I realize this is a new launch, and there are probably a lot of things to add to the approach as time moves forward.

    So this advocates for greater emphasis on this bullet point: Advocating for investments in rural America with progressive groups, donors and the Democratic Party. Part of where they should put money is already existing progressive farm and rural advocacy groups. Many times these groups lack adequate funding to be as effective as they could be. But they come from the community, and are going to be trusted more than some outside group. Sometimes local/state groups need help to research issues or other assistance. Sometimes they just need money to fund two or three more organizers.

    I would want more local/state input and control of the organizaton, too. Give them a voice in how the Rural Forward is governed.

  5. OldSarg 2018-04-17 21:47

    Daschle neglected to pay $128,203 in taxes over three years. Is this really who you want to give rural America a voice?

    Maybe he can do it over church picnic and serve beluga caviar or a Foie Gras hors d’oeuvre along with a nice Clambake Chardonnay. That would be fun. If we have too much to drink we can get his buddy with the limo to drive us all home. . .

  6. o 2018-04-17 22:40

    OldSarg, you only know about his tax records because he released them . . .

  7. Darin Larson 2018-04-17 22:44

    I don’t know OldSarg, the guy with the biggest voice in the US had his attorney pay $130,000 to a porn star as hush money. Neglecting to pay taxes over 3 years sounds kind of boring in comparison. Maybe to give a voice to rural America, Daschle needs to call Access Hollywood and see if Billy Bush is available to interview him. Then people will pay attention to what Daschle has to say. Grab the people’s attention like Trump grabs them.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-17 22:51

    Speaking of taxes. Trump had to file for a 6 month extension on his taxes.
    He’s been too damn busy playing golf, at taxpayer expense, to meet with his accountants and get his taxes done.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-18 06:02

    Mike, I think it would help immensely to have our past leaders re-engaging in the political front and reminding South Dakota of its own values and interests. We need more strong voices to counter the Trumpist propaganda machine. If OS wants to talk moral/scandal equivalency, Daschle has nothing to worry about compared to the sins of Trump. As Darin and Roger indicate, Daschle is a paragon of virtue compared to the man at Maralago. The moldy cheese at the bottom of the bin in my fridge is a paragon of virtue compared to the man at Maralago.

  10. OldSarg 2018-04-18 06:11

    I thought the discussion was about Daschle and “progressive” dimwits.

    You need to get back on track instead of diverting to the man who is ending a 74 year war, lowered taxes, defending our borders, draining a criminal swamp, decimating the pervieyers of chemical weapons, bring back our jobs, saving our economy, equalizing the stupid trade treaties and has a potty mouth.

  11. jerry 2018-04-18 06:26

    As there are a lot of rural Vietnam veterans, what Tom Daschle did for us was quite a feat. Mr. Daschle went up against the chemical maker Monsanto to get Agent Orange exposure declared a presumptive illness for treatment and for compensation by the Veterans Administration. I think if I were advising them, I would surely bring that impressive point of order up for discussion.

    I have read about the $128,203.47 rounded off to the nearest dollar, for a three year mistake on his taxes. That stuff can happen, to the best of us. At least Mr. Daschle provided tax information to the public which is more than the Russian criminal currently in the white house would ever do. Show us your tax forms trumpy.

  12. jerry 2018-04-18 06:45

    Old Sarge is old wet spot as usual in his wet blankey love fest for the bozohead in chief. Regarding the joke we just saw in Syria, ho hum, nailed a few old donkeys grazing.

    “This attack was unserious but intended to relieve emotional pressure, a kind of martial onanism masquerading as strategy. Its effects can be compared to the police coming upon a mass murderer, cited multiple times for firearms violations, reloading his AR-15 in the midst of a massacre. The cops step past the twitching bodies, take the weapon, eject the 30-round magazine, take out half a dozen bullets, and return the remainder and the weapon to the murderer with a stern look. They then swagger back to the squad room shouting, “Showed him, didn’t we!”

    But, some would say, at least we did something. Surely that is better than nothing? No, it is not. A slight slap preceded by bluster and followed by evasion and more bluster conveys a very precise message, actually, but not the one that the president believes and perhaps some of his advisers have now convinced themselves they have sent. It is that the commander in chief of the American armed forces is an impulsive coward. Real punishment for the purposes of deterring the Syrian regime and others from the use of poison gas would have been more like the fire and fury that President Bill Clinton rained down on Saddam Hussein in 1998. Operation Desert Fox lasted four days, did serious damage, and shook the Iraqi regime.”

    trump is a coward, that was afraid to ask Congress for the go ahead. trump is a coward that was afraid to wait for the inspectors to evaluate the scene because he knew if would point to Putin and his pals, the Russians. Had he had the guts to do so like President Bill Clinton did or what a President Hillary Clinton would have done.

    “In this case it would have been air attacks to smash the Syrian air-defense system, destroy helicopters and aircraft, and above all kill a good number of the men who conducted these attacks and the men who ordered them. It would probably have killed some Russians, Iranians, and Hezbollah militia members too. Not proportionally, even then, but something closer to justice, and more importantly, a use of force with a sound strategic purpose.

    That would be hazardous in a number of ways, particularly vis-à-vis the Russians. But as it is, Vladimir Putin has yet another piece of evidence that President Donald Trump will steer away from a direct confrontation with him, even though, in any kind of military conflict in the Middle East it would be the Russians, not the Americans, who by far would have the worst of it. He would secretly fear a president who would do that, because he knows that military humiliation has provoked the downfall of more than one czar in the past. So message received: The American enemy will posture and thump his chest, but is afraid to actually stand up to you, even though his air force could blow yours out of the sky and his navy sink yours to the bottom of the sea.”

  13. Jeff Barth 2018-04-18 07:06

    Where is the money for South Dakota campaigns?
    Without it is it just a photo-op?

  14. debi 2018-04-18 11:57

    There are lots of SD citizens who have progressive ideas and want more middle of the road, sensible laws, etc. And we have the potential to elect more democrats across the nation. The BIG problem is getting people to vote. It seems the only ones that take the time to vote are the ones who have the most to gain. And the ones who have to most to lose (some middle and lower income families) seem to think it doesn’t matter so they don’t vote. I think there are more of us than there are of the “fewer at the top”, but again they don’t vote. We can’t get things accomplished when people don’t vote and if you don’t vote…don’t expect things to change when the same republicans keep taking charge.

  15. Clyde 2018-04-18 18:08

    The intelligent voters of South Dakota tossed out the Senate majority leader. Wouldn’t matter if the guy was Democrat, Republican, or green. He was in a position that could only help South Dakota. Now he’s in the usual mold. DC! And he’s added “progressive” to his moniker.

    Excuse me, but I’m a skeptic!

  16. OldSarg 2018-04-18 20:35

    You guys are pathetic. This is not about party. You defend someone who cheated on their taxes, it doesn’t;t matter the party, to the tune of over more than most of you make in 5 years only because he has become your champion for today. Yesterday it was Comey, then Hillary, then Lynch then and then and then. You guys are all supporting cheating scum and you are not man enough to ever admit you were ever wrong all the whilst you mentors are falling, falling, falling. They are criminals, and party doesn’t matter, and the horde of South Dakota minions all chase behind the scum. What kind of fools are you? Honestly, ask yourselves, “Why would I ask a thief, who steals from the very people he claims to represent, to speak for me?” Are you honestly this clueless? The person we speak of became rich in DC on YOUR backs and you are such simpletons as to keep following the Judas goat. . . Sad really. you need to start thinking for yourselves. I have never seen such stupidity. . . Well, once but I was working with the Army then and I can understand that. You I can’t.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-18 20:49

    Beatle Bailey found a need to rant and insult, he must have taken a break from playing with his toy soldiers.
    Once again Beatle says party doesn’t matter and turns right around and makes it matter.
    Tom Daschle paid for his tax error and also paid his back taxes, the same can’t be said of Beatle’s president that was too busy playing golf to work with his accountants and get his taxes filed on time. Beatles president still hasn’t shown his tax returns as he promised several times.
    Interesting note: Maine & Maryland will both require presidential candidates to show their tax returns before they can appear on the ballot. Trump just lost two states if he survives long enough to make it to 2020.
    Beatle Bailey burns Daschle, while he remains quiet about the most corrupt president in our history, Trump makes Richard Nixon look like a Boy Scout.
    Our former senator is doing noble work for South Dakotans and the Trump cult only wants failure, typical of them, South Dakota republicans are and continue to be their own worst enemy.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-18 22:39

    Our friend Commissioner Barth is right: money matters. If Rural Forward is serious about advancing its goals, it needs to help candidates who share those goals get elected. I do believe some good, well-publicized, well-attended public forums with well-known speakers defending the Democratic brand and values would help. But those forums also have to tie in to the efforts of local candidates: “Here’s what we believe. Here’s why what we believe is good for you. Here are candidates who share those beliefs and will do much better for you than those tricky Republicans. Vote for these candidates!” Just planning such events and driving publicity will take money. More money will help progressive candidates build on those events to keep spreading the message locally when the Rural Forward folks move on to the next town for the next program.

  19. Jason 2018-04-18 22:44


    Can you list the Democrat ideas that have helped South Dakota taxpayers prosper?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.