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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 ‚ÄĒ A day after his party suffered historic midterm election losses, Democratic House leader Rep. Dick Gephardt announced Thursday that he is stepping down from the party leadership post after eight years. ‚ÄúIn fairness to my friends and colleagues in the House, they need a leader for the next two years who can devote his or her undivided attention to putting our party back in the majority,‚ÄĚ said the Missouri Democrat, who has long signaled his interest in running for president in 2004.
IN HIS WRITTEN statement, Gephardt, 61, did not clearly state that he would enter the race for the White House, but said, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs time for me personally to take a different direction, look at the country‚Äôs challenge from a different perspective and take on this president and the Republican Party from a different vantage point.‚ÄĚ
In the Senate, meanwhile, where Sen. Tom Daschle will have to...