Side benefit of a GOP victory: Say goodbye to Harry Reid

It's becoming pretty obvious that Senate Democrats have tired of the antics of Harry Reid as majority leader and will oust him if Republicans win the Senate.

John Fund:

But lots of Democrats are showing their frustration with Reid on the campaign trail. NBC’s Chuck Todd found that nearly a dozen Senate nominees or incumbents have expressed interest in replacing Reid.

Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jeanne Sheehan of New Hampshire refuse to back Reid. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana now says she wants to see “who is running.” Senator Mark Warner of Virginia says the country “could perhaps do better in both parties” in terms of leadership. Sam Nunn, the father of Georgia Democratic Senate nominee Michelle Nunn, says his daughter won’t be obligated to back Reid if she wins. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia complains that Reid has been “overprotective” in preventing floor votes on key issues.

That crucial element of Reid’s leadership style — designed to prevent Republicans from forcing Democrats to vote on “gotcha” amendments — has had the unintended consequence of giving Democratic senators running in red states few chances to show any independence from President Obama. Since a whopping 85 percent of the votes that have been held are to confirm appointees, many Democrats have been bombarded with devastating ads noting they’ve backed Obama as much as 99 percent of the time in the past year. “If Democrats see they’ve lost Senate seats because of those ads, the attitude toward Reid’s strategy shifts rapidly,” former Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell told me.

Other Democrats have long expressed despair over Reid’s gaffe-prone speeches (“Sometimes I say the wrong thing” he admitted this year in a classic understatement) along with his general inability to speak clearly. His Senate-majority PAC ran a much-criticized radio ad in North Carolina linking the GOP candidate to the death of Trayvon Martin. A former aide to Senator Schumer outlined another source of frustration to The Hill: “There is a dissatisfaction among a lot of Democrats that we’re not doing anything, and they spend a lot of money to get elected. They spend months and months on the phone raising money to get elected, and the job is not satisfying. Nearly all these people came here to get something done, and that’s what they want to do.”

Reid's constant harping on the evil Koch brothers has become tiresome.  It was Reid who helped design the Democrats' midterm strategy of pushing the "war on women" theme that has apparently failed spectacularly to rouse single women and get them to the polls.

Many of those senators quoted above who aren't sure about supporting Reid are bound to be gone when the Congress reconvenes next January.  But someone is going to have to suffer the consequences of a coming Democratic debacle, and Reid appears to be the scapegoat.  To a lesser extent, Nancy Pelosi is also in trouble as minority leader in the House, although kicking a woman to the curb usually isn't done in Democratic politics.

Might Reid even resign rather than face the demotion among his colleagues?  A Republican might, but Reid enjoys the Senate too much to give it up.  I expect he'll run again in 2016 and have a good shot of being in office on his 82nd birthday in 2022.

It's becoming pretty obvious that Senate Democrats have tired of the antics of Harry Reid as majority leader and will oust him if Republicans win the Senate.

John Fund:

But lots of Democrats are showing their frustration with Reid on the campaign trail. NBC’s Chuck Todd found that nearly a dozen Senate nominees or incumbents have expressed interest in replacing Reid.

Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jeanne Sheehan of New Hampshire refuse to back Reid. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana now says she wants to see “who is running.” Senator Mark Warner of Virginia says the country “could perhaps do better in both parties” in terms of leadership. Sam Nunn, the father of Georgia Democratic Senate nominee Michelle Nunn, says his daughter won’t be obligated to back Reid if she wins. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia complains that Reid has been “overprotective” in preventing floor votes on key issues.

That crucial element of Reid’s leadership style — designed to prevent Republicans from forcing Democrats to vote on “gotcha” amendments — has had the unintended consequence of giving Democratic senators running in red states few chances to show any independence from President Obama. Since a whopping 85 percent of the votes that have been held are to confirm appointees, many Democrats have been bombarded with devastating ads noting they’ve backed Obama as much as 99 percent of the time in the past year. “If Democrats see they’ve lost Senate seats because of those ads, the attitude toward Reid’s strategy shifts rapidly,” former Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell told me.

Other Democrats have long expressed despair over Reid’s gaffe-prone speeches (“Sometimes I say the wrong thing” he admitted this year in a classic understatement) along with his general inability to speak clearly. His Senate-majority PAC ran a much-criticized radio ad in North Carolina linking the GOP candidate to the death of Trayvon Martin. A former aide to Senator Schumer outlined another source of frustration to The Hill: “There is a dissatisfaction among a lot of Democrats that we’re not doing anything, and they spend a lot of money to get elected. They spend months and months on the phone raising money to get elected, and the job is not satisfying. Nearly all these people came here to get something done, and that’s what they want to do.”

Reid's constant harping on the evil Koch brothers has become tiresome.  It was Reid who helped design the Democrats' midterm strategy of pushing the "war on women" theme that has apparently failed spectacularly to rouse single women and get them to the polls.

Many of those senators quoted above who aren't sure about supporting Reid are bound to be gone when the Congress reconvenes next January.  But someone is going to have to suffer the consequences of a coming Democratic debacle, and Reid appears to be the scapegoat.  To a lesser extent, Nancy Pelosi is also in trouble as minority leader in the House, although kicking a woman to the curb usually isn't done in Democratic politics.

Might Reid even resign rather than face the demotion among his colleagues?  A Republican might, but Reid enjoys the Senate too much to give it up.  I expect he'll run again in 2016 and have a good shot of being in office on his 82nd birthday in 2022.