WASHINGTON, June 11 — Two former Senate leaders who were once fierce adversaries, Bill Frist and Tom Daschle, joined together Monday to promote a bipartisan effort to make global poverty a central issue of the 2008 presidential race.
“It is in the strategic and national interest of the United States of America,” said Mr. Frist, a Republican and former Senate majority leader from Tennessee. “People do not go to war with people who save their children’s lives.”
Both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will be asked to sign a pledge in the fall saying they will offer proposals to fight H.I.V./AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, improve children’s health in other ways, increase access to education, provide access to clean water and reduce by half the number of people who suffer from hunger.
“Through the extraordinary challenge we now have, it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize that this must be a key part of American foreign policy,” said Mr. Daschle, a Democrat and former Senate majority leader from South Dakota.
It's very cool to see both Daschle and Frist come together and use their political clout for a common cause. It's also nice that they are bringing together people from both sides of the political spectrum. I've seen liberal and conservative bloggers discussing a meeting/conference call they've had recently with Daschle, Frist, the ONE Campaign and Ben Affleck. Both sides seem to be very receptive to the idea, which is also nice to see.
ONE Vote '08 is supporting a 5-goal plan that they want the presidential candidates to support:
5 Achievable Goals
1. Save 15,000 lives a day by fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,
three of the world's most devastating diseases.
2. Prevent 5.4 million young children from dying each year from
poverty-related illnesses and 400,000 women from dying in childbirth each
3. Provide free access to primary education for 77 million out-of-school
children with a special emphasis on girls.
4. Improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations by, for example,
providing access to clean water for 450 million people and basic sanitation to
more than 700 million people.
5. Reduce by half the number of people in the world who suffer from hunger,
resulting in 300 million "fewer" hungry people each year.
I think this is really great and I look forward to hearing more from Daschle and this campaign.