« CA-48: Chris Cox Out; Open Seat | Main | NY-Gov: Thomas R. Suozzi to Run »

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Democrats: Harry Reid in Rolling Stone

Posted by Bob Brigham

I mentioned this yesterday, Democratic Leader Harry Reid is agressively reaching out to young people via Rolling Stone. The full interview shows a refreshing candor -- the type that people respect. Headline, The Gunslinger:

In his first five months as minority leader, Sen. Harry Reid has come out swinging. The soft-spoken Nevadan has called George Bush a "loser," Clarence Thomas an "embarrassment" and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan a "political hack." He has held the Democrats together to oppose Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. And he stood up to Majority Leader Bill Frist and other radical Republicans who tried to deploy the "nuclear option" to overturn the Senate tradition of judicial filibusters. In the end, the Republicans blinked first, as seven moderates abandoned Frist to cut a deal with the Democrats on May 23rd. The following day, beneath the portrait of Mark Twain that hangs in his office in the Capitol building, Reid sat down to talk with ROLLING STONE.

Reid takes a look at the 2006 mid-term elections:

What kinds of gains will Democrats make in 2006?

Well, history's on our side. Presidents who have been in Bush's situation have lost from one to thirteen senators. We are going to be competitive in races in Pennsylvania, Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island and Missouri.

Why did Kerry lose, and what do Democrats have to learn from that?

Everybody says it was about values, but I don't buy that. Senator Kerry lost because he ignored rural America. Take Nevada as an example. Ninety-one percent of the registered voters are in Reno and Las Vegas. So you would think that someone who carries those two counties by a nice margin would be the winner. Wrong. Kerry carried those counties -- but he got slaughtered in the other nine percent, where the turnout was huge. The rural vote went five-to-one against Kerry, and he lost the state by two percent. Democrats can no longer win elections in big cities. We have to go to places like Elko and Carson City and Ely and let people know who we are. Until we do that, we're going to continue to lose.

Straight talk goes a long way in rural America. Let's get the people to respect the Democratic Party, then we can worry about asking for their votes.

Posted at 12:01 PM in Democrats | Technorati