Daschle to Join D.C. Firm

Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (search) plans to put his 26 years of experience in Congress to work at a Washington, D.C., law firm as a public policy adviser.

Daschle, who lost a re-election bid in November to Republican John Thune, said he won't lobby for Alston & Bird LLP (search), but will advise its clients on topics with which he's familiar.

"I want to continue my involvement in the public policy issues that I care a great deal about. Those issues include energy, Native Americans, health care, international trade, agriculture and technology," he said Sunday in a telephone interview from his Washington home.

One of things he'll do is counsel clients on how to work through legal and regulatory hurdles in Washington and internationally, he said.

Daschle joins former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole (search), who is already in the company's legislative and public policy group. Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, said in a statement that he looks forward to working with Daschle.

"Tom is the consummate public servant, and while we may have differed on some political issues, I look forward to working together at Alston & Bird, as we tap his unique knowledge of public policy to serve the firm's clients," Dole said.

Daschle, 57, was first elected to the House in 1978 and served four terms before moving to the Senate, where he was named minority leader in 1994. He was majority leader starting in June 2001, but again became minority leader after Democrats lost their slim majority in the 2002 elections.

Daschle lost the nation's highest-profile and most expensive Senate race in November by 4,500 votes to Thune. The hard-fought contest cost a combined $33.8 million, according to Federal Election Commission figures.

Alston & Byrd has 700 attorneys with offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, New York and Washington. Daschle's appointment is official Monday but it will be several weeks before he starts work.