Signs of trouble back home for Harry Reid
Some indications are that Sen. Harry Reid, whom we see so much on national TV criticizing pretty much everything he's asked about and even more, is in some growing political difficulties back home in Nevada.
The job of Democratic Senate majority leader can be a dangerous one, as a major spokesman for the party. Former Sen. Tom Daschle lost a reelection bid after his tour as majority leader as the folks in South Dakota apparently came to think he wasn't paying enough attention to his home state.
Reid has never been the most popular politician in Nevada. The last time he had a serious Republican opponent -- John Ensign in 1998 -- the results were very close in Reid's favor. Two recent newspaper polls found that 49% and 51% of voters disapprove of Reid's job performance, while only 39% and 32% gave him a favorable rating.
That almost invites a strong Republican challenger should Reid decide to run again in 2010. Reid told the Roll Call newspaper on a subscription website that he regretted becoming the face of his party in bitter partisan battles with President Bush. “It's hard for the people of the state of Nevada to accept me as a partisan person.... Reid versus Bush, that’s what my life is all about” right now, said Reid, the highest-elected Mormon in the nation's history.
He predicted he would be in fine shape by 2010.
"As majority leader," the Las Vegas Review Journal recently editorialized, "he has exhibited a degree of liberal partisanship that is clearly not going over well with many Nevada voters." And the newspaper did not see that turning around anytime soon "as long as Sen. Reid insists on being a mouthpiece for his party's hyperleftist wing."
-- Andrew Malcolm