But Thune is in a unique position, having defeated a Senate leader in Tom Daschle. In part, that stems from the fact that Daschle was able to get Ellsworth off a closure list 10 years ago. Daschle has said Ellsworth was on the initial list before it became public. But it was removed after he had conversations with President Clinton and his staff, according to an Associated Press report.
"Tom Daschle successfully defended the base in the 1990s when we did this the last time," [Bill] Richardson said. "John Thune will be queried hard about his ability to defend it now with his close relationship with the Bush administration."
Ouch. Looks like a one and done type situation.