Tarheeltalker

Confidence, Hubris or What?

Senator Harry Reid, D, NV has been the majority leader of the Senate since 2007. Among those who preceded him in this position are Lyndon Johnson, Bob Dole, Robert Byrd( yep, that guy) Robert Taft and the very first majority leader. That would be Senator Charles Curtis , R, KS who served from 1925-1929.With the exception of Alben Barkley who served from 1937-1947, the tenures have normally been around 4 years.

As we know, Senator Reid is locked in a tight re-election campaign as he tries to win his 5th term in office. His Republican opponent has yet to be determined .In 2004, he easily won re-election with 61% of the vote. However in 1998, he won an extremely narrow contest, 47.88% to 47.78% over current senator John Ensign; a 328 vote margin.

So, contrary to what on might think, Senator Reid is not invincible. But to hear some of his recent comments, one might wonder if he agrees with that statement. Let us backtrack a bit. Abut 6 months ago at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in Las Vegas, Reid allegedly made this statement to Bob Brown, director of  advertising for the Las  Vegas Review-Journal, which incidentally is not a  big fan of the senator. ‘” I hope you go out of business.” That would contribute to the unemployment rate in Nevada would it not and damage the struggling newspaper business? Maybe he was kidding, right?

More recently, Sen Reid had this to say about unemployed males in America. This was on the floor of the U S Senate in debate about a jobs bill and it occurred on February 22. “Men, when they’re out of work, tend to become abusive.” He said that was not the case with women who “aren’t abusive, most of the time.”  Yet another interesting comment from the majority leader just yesterday. Republicans” should stop crying” about  the parliamentary procedure known as  budget reconciliation which may be used  to pas a health care reform bill. He said that Republicans had  used it  more than Democrats. Even if that is true, I doubt it was ever on such a significant  legislative issue.

But, the Senator may have unwittingly made a good point. Republicans should stop crying and just field a good candidate that will unseat him in November. After all, he already has an albatross hanging over him. The President has expressed his support  and has  campaigned on his behalf. Ask these folks about that. Martha Coakley, Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine.

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February 24, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Did He Win or Did She Lose?

Of course, the he is Senator-elect Scott Brown, R, Ma and the she is Martha Coakley. The obvious answer is yes to both questions since Brown won the election. But in politics, the obvious answer is not always the correct answer. So, what might we discover when we look a bit further.

On the Democrat side of the equation, the game could well be  the Blame Game. But who does  one blame . The Coakley campaign blames the Obama administration’s health care bill and its perceived failures  regarding the attempted terrorist bombing on Christmas Day. The administration on the other hand says Coakley ran a poor campaign. So, wherein lies the truth?

Hard to say that voter unhappiness over health care reform was not a factor. But, Coakley was ( rightly so, I think) perceived as being in favor of that effort and a guaranteed 60th vote. So which side was more accurate with their blame? Believe i shall go with the Obama folks on this one. With Massachusetts such a reliably Democratic state, her nomination was tantamount to election, right?( The last Republican senator in the Bay State was elected some 43 years ago and he was Edward Brooke. )My wife heard an interesting comment attributed to Coakley. You mean I have to stand outside shaking hands in this weather? Slight paraphrase. I think that she was in trouble before she realized it and then called the Axelrod cavalry  too late. ( He did actually pay Brown a compliment for running a smart campaign.)

As for Brown, he says the election was not a referendumon Obama. But don’t you know that both parties will study this campaign til the cows come home, from wherever it is that they go.

Brief summary- voter angst- and it spells trouble for incumbents or for  any candidate who is  perceived-rightly or wrongly- as not in tune with the voters. Should make for an interesting political season.

Welcome to the Senate, Mr Brown. The fun has just begun!

Footnote: This particular seat has been held by a Democrat for 57 years, was occupied by Henry Cabot Lodge before that.

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Will Their Tactics Be Successful?

The Senate race in Massachusetts is coming down the homestretch with the election just a couple of days away. Republican Scott Brown has an excellent chance to win over Democrat Martha ( Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan) Coakley. It seems that the Democrats are pulling out all the stops now.

Chuck Schumer has blasted Brown, the Dems have run an unauthorized commercial “borrowing” the UPS advertising slogan and have been told to stop. Bill Clinton is even  linking Coakley’s election and  aid to Haiti. He called them ” two sides of the same coin.” And these are just the politicians talking.

Members of the mainstream media are chiming in as well. Two of the most intriguing/outrageous  examples both work for MSNBC. Our old friend Chris Matthews longs for the day when one could just by enough votes. Shucks, that might still happen. An even better line comes from Ed Schultz who says he would vote 10 times if he lived in Massachusetts. “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out.” Finally, an honest cheater.

All this in a state, uh, commonwealth, where registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans. Almost forgot, the President has visited as well. Who knows if that helped or hurt. If Coakley loses, the Democrats can always blame her for running  a bad campaign or being a weak candidate. But they would not do that, would they?

Guess Tuesday will tell the tale.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments