SDSU graduate Sen. Tom Daschle signs new book “Like No Other Time” in Sioux Falls

Todd Vanderwerff

Todd Vanderwerff

Hundreds of South Dakotans braved the ice and snow Monday to talk with Senate Minority Leader and SDSU graduate Tom Daschle at Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls.

Daschle was appearing at the store to sign copies of his new book “Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever,” which he wrote with Michael D’Orso. The book deals with the events surrounding both the contentious presidential election of 2000 and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The book was available everywhere Tuesday.

Daschle said that the book talks about two of the most momentous years in American history that had an impact on the nation and on him personally.

The lines of people waiting to have their books signed stretched through most of the store and moved slowly, with most visitors stopping to talk with Daschle about personal concerns and ideas.

“I am going to visit with Tom Daschle about something else as he’s signing my book,” said Goldie Burnham, a Sioux Falls resident.

Burnham said that she wanted to discuss the home-health rollout with Daschle, though she thought most people were probably just there to get their books signed. She looked ahead at the line stretching all the way through the store in front of her and thought it might be an hour before she got to speak with the senator.

Jamie Hylland had come from the Lincoln High School “Statesman” to speak with Daschle and do a story on his book. She and her reporting partner were going to try to read the book while waiting in line.

“I think most people are here

to find out what he had to write,” Hylland said.

Before the signing, Daschle stayed mostly on-topic, answering mostly questions about his book and referring back to the book on questions that had nothing to do with the it.

Daschle said that his education at SDSU had been instrumental both in his political life and in the writing of his book.

“I honestly don’t think I’d be writing this book (without SDSU),” Daschle said. “It all starts with my education.”

Daschle said he is particularly proud of the chapter in the book on the anthrax scare, which details the day when his office was mailed an envelope full of the potentially lethal disease.

“The anthrax that was found in the envelope was 3,000 times the lethal dose,” Daschle said.

He added that 28 staff members in his office were infected with the disease and that all of them recovered fully. He also said that the proceeds from the book will benefit others.

“(The proceeds) will all go to charity, most of it right here in South Dakota,” Daschle said.

Daschle said he will be returning to South Dakota more in the coming months, as he prepares for his campaign and continues to promote his book.

“This is how I get energized,” he said.

SDSU graduate Ryan Howlett works for the Daschle campaign and was at Barnes and Noble Monday morning as well. He works for Daschle’s campaign.

“It was a nice chance to repay a man who’s done a lot of public service for our state,” Howlett said.

Howlett added that Daschle’s success underscores SDSU’s “You Can Go Anywhere from Here” motto.

“He’s a guy from Aberdeen who’s a respected leader in the world community,” Howlett said.

#1.886608:1293700408.jpg:daschle.jpg:Current Senate minority leader Tom Daschle will defend his seat against unknown Republican challengers in 2004. Daschle, a SDSU graduate, was signing his book in Sioux Falls Monday.: