We’ve seen President Obama campaign with candidates for higher office before. And we’ve seen those candidates go on to lose their respective races before too. If this trend continues, Nevadans and Republicans nationwide should take comfort, as the President appeared with the Silver State’s Senior Senator and Majority Leader, Harry Reid, yesterday in an effort to help the popularity-embattled lawmaker win a fifth term in November.
Nothing could be more symbolic of today’s federal government than having Obama and Reid standing side-by-side blaming Republicans for all the problems in America. The only thing that would make that picture more perfect is to have San Francisco-based Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi standing alongside them as well. While Obama is only in his second year in office, Reid and Pelosi are both in their fourth years in leading Congress and at the tail end of their third decades of serving in Washington altogether.
While the best we can hope for with Pelosi is that she loses her power if and when Republicans take back the House this fall (it is highly unlikely that liberal San Franciscans will vote to replace her with a Republican), Nevada voters have the rare opportunity to speak for the nation by not only stripping Reid of his power, but his job as well.
We’ve already profiled Sharron Angle, the former state legislator who (with Tea Party support) came from behind and clinched the Republican nomination to take on Reid for his Senate seat. In most elections, a four-term Washington incumbent would not need to lodge creative attacks at his lesser-experienced opponent and summon the leader of his party (the President of the United States) to fly cross-country and help him raise money to stay afloat in his campaign. But, as we have been seeing over and over again throughout the country, 2010 is not your average election year.
Inexperience is in and incumbency is clearly out. Americans of all political affiliations – Republicans, Democrats, and (probably most importantly) Independents – are fed up with the unrestrained spending and arrogant disregard for constituents that Washington lawmakers have made a habit of practicing for the past few years.
While Republicans may have been guilty of such abysmal traits in the early part of the last decade, they certainly paid the price for their behavior in the elections of 2006 (losing Congress) and 2008 (losing the White House). That is why it is silly for anyone to believe – as the President and Senate Majority Leader would like you to think – that the GOP is somehow responsible for the deep economic hole into which we, as a nation, are currently sinking. They currently hold no power in Washington.
Pelosi and Reid, like Obama, do not seemingly believe in any accountability when it comes to referendums on their own power. They have had longer tenures in office than the President to prove they are different from the status quo politicians of the past, or to be “given a chance,” as some voters cite as a reason to keep unsavory people in office. In truth, they are the epitome of the Washington politician and their power and reckless behavior has only intensified since Obama took office.
The central message that seemed to come out of Reid and Obama’s Las Vegas campaign appearance was that, “if you think things are bad now, wait until the Republicans are back in charge.”
In other words: vote for us, because no matter how bad we treat you, our opponents will treat you worse. It somewhat resembles the administration’s argument for passing the economic stimulus package early last year: no matter how much damage we do by spending this much money ($787 billion), the consequences of not doing so will be astronomically worse.
And these are the same people that accused President George W. Bush of “fear-mongering” when he would point to his record of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks as a reason to vote for him.
Presidential support or no presidential support, Senator Reid’s fate might already be sealed. Since Angle won the GOP nomination a month ago, she has continued to lead him in nearly every poll. The latest survey has her seven points ahead of the Senate Majority Leader. Reid’s own son, Rory, who is currently running for governor of Nevada, won’t even use his family’s last name on his campaign bumper stickers, which simply read “Rory 2010.”
While President Obama may feel the need to make another trip out to Nevada to help is right-hand man in the Senate one or two more times before Election Day arrives, it may do Reid more harm than good. We have already looked at the decline of the President’s approval ratings this week and they appear to be going in no other direction but south as each day passes.
Reid should look at former Democratic candidates in the past year – like Creigh Deeds of Virginia, Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, and former Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey. All, running in states that Obama carried in 2008, sought the public support of the once-popular President in their electoral efforts. All were ultimately defeated by their Republican opponents. Reid and many others (ahem, Senator Boxer) may be added to that list of unemployed Obama-backed candidates very soon.