Friday, March 27, 2015

Harry Reid Won't Seek Re-Election

by JASmius

Oh yea of little faith, why do you doubt your party's chances of taking back the Senate next year?:

Nevada Senator Harry Reid has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016, saying that he wants to leave the Senate while he's still going strong.

"I want to be able to go out at the top of my game," Reid told the New York Times. "I don't want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter."

That's an interesting analogy, no?  What does "at the top of my game" mean in a senatorial context?  Since physical condition, beyond simply not being physically incapacitated, doesn't seem to enter into that equation, we can only conclude that he means "at the top of my [mental] game".  Might this be an implicit concession that he might be in the early stages of dementia or Altzheimers?  There have been rumors to that effect, after all.  The concern may be that if he does have either of those conditions, or has another stroke, he may not make it through another six-year term, and - currently at least - Nevada has a Republican governor who would appoint (G)Reid's replacement to serve out the remainder of that term.  Why not bow out now and give a viable Nevada Donk a clear shot at holding onto that seat in what is bound to be a better year for Democrats as a whole?

That's Ramesh Ponnuru's conclusion:

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review said that that statement "may shed more light on his decision than he perhaps intended."

Ponnuru contends that "getting a new Democrat elected will take money too, of course. If it would take more money to get the incumbent re-elected, doesn't that tell us something about his standing in the state?"

And not only Dirty Harry's re-election either:

The fundraising group for Senate Republicans predicts that Reid's seat will be an easy pickup for the GOP.

"Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate," the NRSC said. "With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”

Oh, I don't know about no hope - the GOP has at least four vulnerable "blue"-State seats (Kirk in Illinois, Toomey in Pennsylvania, Johnson in Wisconsin, Ayotte in New Hampshire) that are likely to "come home" next year - but pickup opportunities like Nevada, and Michael Bennett's Colorado seat, at least give the GOP a chance to cling precariously to its Senate majority (although of what value that majority is is open to vigorous and rancorous debate).  If Senator Pencil-Neck was any kind of favorite to win next year - and remember, in his five previous victories, only once has he exceeded 51% of the vote - he'd already be off and running.

But then, maybe it's simply that the "game" has become too easy for him.  Remember that when the Democrats are in the majority, they run the Senate, and when the Republicans are in the majority....the Democrats run the Senate.  Last month's DHS appropriation fiasco proved that for all time.  So for Harry (G)Reid, perhaps there's just no more fun to be had in legislative confrontations and showdowns and wars that never materialize.  It's like the Skipper arm-wrestling Gilligan.  It's like sport-fishing with power saws.

Maybe Harry (G)Reid is just plain bored.

But he couldn't resist one final bitch-slap of his hapless counterpart:

In a message Reid sent out on YouTube, he told his successor, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, not to be "too elated," adding that he's "going to be here for twenty-two months, and you know what I'm going to be doing — the same thing I've done since I first came to the Senate."

Yeah - treating Mitchie The Campbell's Soup Kid like the captured Islamic State harem girl he is - and, of course, running the U.S. Senate.  But seeing as though Dirty Harry's chief "leadership" trait is being a ruthless, hyper-partisan son of a bitch, it's not as though Chucky Schumer or Ali Dickbar Al-Durbini can't take over for him without missing a beat.

And so, as the Dispensible Man slithers off into the sunset, here's one for the road for the Harry about which we are most emphatically NOT wild....

UPDATE: It'll be Schumer.

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