What An Alabama State Senate Election Tells Us About The Fate of Senator Reid in 2016

Harry Reid's Last Reelection Asset - Pork
Harry Reid’s Last Reelection Asset – Pork

What follows could be seen as a highlight film of Harry Reid’s term as Senate Majority Leader.

Much of what passes for political journalism is hope propagated under a newspaper byline. Here Phillip Klein tugs my heart strings with something that would be quite simply precious if it really came to pass.


On Tuesday, [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ], D-Nev., lost his job as Senate majority leader. Two years from now, he could be out of a job as Senator altogether.

It’s good that Mr. Klein used the subjunctive here. The old boxer from Searchlight took a hard right cross to the schnauzer last Tuesday, but he isn’t down for the count just yet. He isn’t going back as the Senate Majority Leader anymore. He’ll undoubtedly take up residence in an office where he can hear the Senate Johns flush loudly throughout his entire work day. People on Capitol Hill have short ethics and long memories. They won’t be remembering Dingy Harry fondly at all.

And then there’s the wee little situation Harry Reid will face back home in The Great State of Nevada. That would be the Nevada that GOP Governor Brian Sandoval just turned a brighter shade of red than the desert sands of Mars. So it does appear to be a case where RMJ will get to toast marshmallows over the roasting, iniquitous carcass of Harry Reid when he sees the tough, old bird down in Hell. But let’s not be hasty here because Reid still has an escape hatch left even now.

Assuming the GOP doesn’t bring Sharron Angle back for a regrettable encore, Harry Reid will have to run an uphill course to keep his job. He does have one asset left in his arsenal. He’s the man who knows DC. He knows the ways and gets his hands on the means. You gotta problem with the gubbermint. Uncle Harry will fix it up for you and make you feel all better. He’ll run for the Senate next time as Dr. Feelgood. Will it work? It’s entirely plausible. To get a sense of how it will all play out, we can look at an Alabama State Senate Race that featured a similar dynamic.


Roger Bedford, incumbent State Senator from District 6, was one of the last lions from The Democratic Legislative Majorities that ruled Alabama’s State Legislature for lo the years. His resume ran long and deep.

He has also brought millions of dollars back to his Senate District to help create new jobs and for improvements to education, roads, bridges, ball fields and senior centers. In 1989 he was voted “Most Outstanding State Senator” by his fellow Senators for his leadership in fighting for a quality education system, for reforming Alabama’s victim rights and for stronger child abuse legislation, as well as working for tougher drug laws.

The Alabama GOP put up a relative newcomer, a physician-turned-politico named Larry Stutts. Bedford called in his favors and let lose the dogs of political war. He outspent Stutts 5:1 and ran ads that impugned Dr. Stutts’ professional ethics and personal competence. He also ran the ads we can expect from Harry Reid. Ads that told voters Roger Bedford knew how the game worked and could get them far more than a neophyte legislator could in his stead. After all, Bedford knew where the bodies were buried down in Montgomery*….

The race went down to the wire. Stutts appears to have won. The total was razor-thin and the votes will be recounted and perhaps recounted yet again. Challenging Harry Reid will be just as daunting a task. His roots are deep and will be hard to purge from the barren desert soil.

The power of incumbency is worth many a vote. Harry Reid’s home style could have a lot to do with how his 2016 race turns out. He will be reminding a lot of important people in Vegas that he knows them. If they won’t be watching his back, he would find their lack of faith…disturbing.


However, the GOP should have a certain wind at their backs. The numbers guys in Vegas don’t bet big on a spent proposition. Harry won’t be deciding who heads what Senate Committee anymore. With the proper dedication and effort, belief and enthusiasm can top the wile and experience of the tired, old despot. That will be the mission of the Nevada GOP as they attempt to unseat Bluff King Harry in 2016.

*-And could undoubtedly show you the dirt underneath his finger nails from laying one or two of them down for the nice, comfy dirt-nap.



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