Harry Reid says he's retiring

It looks like we won't have Harry Reid to kick around anymore after 2016.

The Nevada Senator who has led Democrats as both the majority and minority leader since 2005 announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016. His decision is good news for Republicans facing an uphill climb to keep the Senate in 2016. The GOP slaughtered the Democrats in 2014, winning the legislature and every major state wide office.

New York Times:

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”

He has already confounded the new Republican majority this year by holding Democrats united against a proposal to gut the Obama administration’s immigration policies as well as a human-trafficking measure Democrats objected to over an anti-abortion provision.

“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” said Mr. Reid, who used a sports metaphor about athletes who try to hang on too long. “I don’t want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter.”

Mr. Reid’s tenure has become increasingly combative in recent years and included a procedural change on nominations that infuriated Republicans. He also came under fire for blocking floor debate, and even some of his Democratic colleagues suggested that he was stifling the Senate. Just this week, he alienated House Democrats who thought he was sabotaging a compromise on Medicare.

His departure at the end of 2016 will create an opening both at the top of the Senate Democratic hierarchy and in a Senate contest that would have been a megaspending slugfest in the presidential battleground of Nevada. Conservatives such as Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who were a favorite target of Reid criticism in 2014, would have spared no expense in trying to oust him.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who helped Democrats capture the Senate in 2006 and has led their political messaging operation, is considered the favorite to succeed Mr. Reid as party leader. Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, could also be a contender for the job, but it is unclear how strongly he would pursue it.

Democrats who might jump into the race include former Rep. Shelley Berkley, who narrowly lost to Senator Dean Heller in 2012 and Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada's former attorney general.

The Republican field will be wide open. Nevada Republicans have mentioned state senator Michael Roberson as a possible candidate, and there are some former and current state wide office holders who might give it a go.

It will be an expensive race, but the Republicans are in excellent shape in the state. Taking Reid's seat will be vital for the GOP to maintain control of the Senate.

It looks like we won't have Harry Reid to kick around anymore after 2016.

The Nevada Senator who has led Democrats as both the majority and minority leader since 2005 announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016. His decision is good news for Republicans facing an uphill climb to keep the Senate in 2016. The GOP slaughtered the Democrats in 2014, winning the legislature and every major state wide office.

New York Times:

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”

He has already confounded the new Republican majority this year by holding Democrats united against a proposal to gut the Obama administration’s immigration policies as well as a human-trafficking measure Democrats objected to over an anti-abortion provision.

“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” said Mr. Reid, who used a sports metaphor about athletes who try to hang on too long. “I don’t want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter.”

Mr. Reid’s tenure has become increasingly combative in recent years and included a procedural change on nominations that infuriated Republicans. He also came under fire for blocking floor debate, and even some of his Democratic colleagues suggested that he was stifling the Senate. Just this week, he alienated House Democrats who thought he was sabotaging a compromise on Medicare.

His departure at the end of 2016 will create an opening both at the top of the Senate Democratic hierarchy and in a Senate contest that would have been a megaspending slugfest in the presidential battleground of Nevada. Conservatives such as Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who were a favorite target of Reid criticism in 2014, would have spared no expense in trying to oust him.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who helped Democrats capture the Senate in 2006 and has led their political messaging operation, is considered the favorite to succeed Mr. Reid as party leader. Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, could also be a contender for the job, but it is unclear how strongly he would pursue it.

Democrats who might jump into the race include former Rep. Shelley Berkley, who narrowly lost to Senator Dean Heller in 2012 and Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada's former attorney general.

The Republican field will be wide open. Nevada Republicans have mentioned state senator Michael Roberson as a possible candidate, and there are some former and current state wide office holders who might give it a go.

It will be an expensive race, but the Republicans are in excellent shape in the state. Taking Reid's seat will be vital for the GOP to maintain control of the Senate.