Monday, July 27, 2009

Does Obama want Harry Reid Out?

For years, conservatives have called on Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to resign as Senate Majority leader. This was due to his statement in 2007 that the war in Iraq was effectively "lost." He was wrong then both in principle and reality, but members of his own party embraced him warmly as they all collectively denounced our troop in ability and worked to undermine their morale. The warmth he shared among Congressional Democrats may now be lost since he has become the single most powerful obstruction to Barack Obama's agenda. Republican rants, tea party tirades, and conservative condemnations cannot compare to one man who sets the policy agenda in the US Senate. Reid, who is fighting for his political life in his reelection for 2010 is saying "no" to a second stimulus and is delaying the vote on Obama's health care agenda. This is not due to the economic consequences of these bills, but because of the political consequences as he faces a very difficult election in just over a year. The truth is, Nevada is not nearly as liberal as Harry Reid. In fact, he replaced one of the most conservative members of the Senate, Paul Laxalt, who was arguably Ronald Reagan's best friend and ally in the Legislative Branch.

Things are getting ugly on the left, many small, liberal bloggers have declared he needed to go. Now, the situation is worsening for Reid, as The DailyKos says "Harry Reid...for the good of Country...Please Resign!

The writing is written on the polls for Reid as well. The Las Vegas Sun reports "he still has some of the worst polling numbers in the country for a senatorial incumbent — a Mason-Dixon poll last month found that only 34 percent of the electorate had warm and fuzzy feelings about him, and 46 percent did not think too highly of him. Those are fatal numbers for most elected officials, especially one who has been around for four decades, which surely has caused a contagion of Reid fatigue." It goes on to point out that, in spite no "name brand" GOP candidates seems to be looking seriously at Reid's seat, "There are plenty of folks talking about and even campaigning for Reid’s seat on the GOP side. And even a no-name has a chance against someone whose approval numbers are upside down. Ex-Assemblywoman Sharron Angle may draw tittering from the political cognoscenti, but she is relentless, and with some outside funding, she almost cost Heller that congressional seat two cycles ago. And there will be plenty of outside funding this cycle as the national Republicans have Reid as their No. 1 target — and, I’d guess, their Nos. 2 through 10, too." Finally, it notes that "Except the national atmospherics could make somebodies out of nobodies pretty quickly if the economy does not improve, if health care reform implodes, if President Barack Obama’s numbers turn Reid-like. As the most powerful Democrat in the legislative branch, he would not just have to carry the national negatives if they exist; he would be the symbol of them — at thousands of gross rating points a week next summer."

Because of these realities, Reid will play it safe between now and November of 2010, making himself the single biggest obstruction to President Obama. Here are just a couple scenarios bouncing around.

If Reid resigns as Majority Leader, he can free up the Party to be as liberal as it wants and he can vote with the "conscious of a conservative" up to the end of next year. Problem is, much of the money he brings to his reelection is because he is Majority Leader. Furthermore, it is how he makes his case for reelection. "As Senate Majority Leader I have enormous influence on how states, like Nevada, benefit from Washington's policies." Difficult to make that case if you are no longer leader.

On the other hand, he doesn't resign and the Obama agenda goes down like the Titanic (an ever growing possibility), I could see the President and his minions pour money in to get a Primary opponent funded that will force Reid to resign to spend time on his reelection efforts.
Either way, Reid is in one ugly position.

Rumor has it, pressure is already being applied on Reid to resign within the government, in spite Congressional leaders defending him. I believe it will soon be revealed that Obama himself is applying that pressure. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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