December 17th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
14 years ago

Senior Senate Democrat looking over his shoulder

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, center, is hoping he does not suffer the same fate as his predecessor former Sen. Tom Daschle."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, clearly remembers what happened to his predecessor in 2004. That is the year when congressional Republicans aimed their fire at then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, and helped defeat him.

In the 2004 election cycle, Republicans coined a new phrase that they said described obstruction in Washington: “Daschle Democrats.” The constant pounding by the GOP, President Bush’s landslide victory in South Dakota, and a strong candidate in John Thune, contributed to Daschle’s defeat. He had been in Congress since 1979, first as a congressman and then as a senator and eventually the Senate Democratic leader.

Reid succeeded Daschle as the senior Democrat in the Senate.

Even though the 2008 election is still fresh in everyone’s minds, Reid is looking ahead to 2010, hoping that what the GOP did to Daschle in 2004 is not repeated in two years.

The majority leader sent out an e-mail to supporters Wednesday afternoon referencing the Daschle story and asking them to help raise $50,000 by the end of the year.

“I am their number one target,” Reid told the supporters. “In 2002, Republicans spent tens of millions of dollars attacking Tom Daschle and succeeded in removing him from the Senate. I will not let them do it again.”

Reid also noted that his campaign war chest will be one measure used to determine his re-election prospects.

For now, a top flight Republican has yet to emerge to challenge Reid. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, a Republican considering the race, was indicted earlier this month of misappropriating state funds when he was the state treasurer.

Despite not having an opponent, the Senate majority leader convened his top advisors earlier this month in Las Vegas to discuss the campaign, a source close to Reid said.

As for Daschle, after a few years in the private sector, he is now in line to become the secretary of Health and Human Services in President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Senate • Tom Daschle
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Main Street America

    Harry needs to go
    Term limit need to come
    Common Sense needs to stay awhile

    December 17, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Main Street America

    Harry needs to go
    Term limit needs to come
    Common Sense needs to stay awhile

    December 17, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  3. Jeremy B

    I think Sen. Reid is a great, effective Senator. I however would have to agree with those who say that it is time for fresh, young blood in American Politics. I think a Maria Cantwell, Mary Landrieu(my senator) or Blanche Lincoln would do wonders in leadership! They are all on the lower end of 50 and would be more representative of the Obama reform type of agenda. I mean lets just face it! People of different generations see things in different contexts. Reid and that crowd were born prior WWII and were certainly of age during Vietnam. A new paradigmatic shift has come to contemporary American politics. Barack Obama is a post-Vietnam era baby who came of age in the 1980's. His view of where this country needs to go and how we achieve that is going to be far more open than those who didn't necessarily grow up in a more advanced, increasingly global world!

    December 17, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Alex

    I am totally with Ryan @6:06 PM... It shouldn't be up to the GOP to unseat the utterly spineless Reid and Pelosi, Democrats should take charge of their own house and appoint congressional leaders who are going to demonstrate real leadership skills! Reid couldn't stand up to the traitorous Joe Lieberman, much less the cantankerous blowhards of the GOP's Senatorial caucus. And Pelosi is like a teacher constantly telling the kids to pipe down and let the Washington consensus do its thing, only those kids are just trying to properly represent their constituencies in what is supposed to be "The People's Branch".

    December 17, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  5. Ann

    Well, like Daschle, I am sure he can get himself a nice cabinet post in the Obama administration if he loses.

    December 17, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Well, Harry delivered exactly what he and Nancy said they would deliver. They said they would destroy the Republicans any way they could. Unfortunately the people's work was frustrated for eight long years of gridlock and yes, filibuster by Democrats and our money and economy became collateral damage.
    Harry deserves whatever he gets and let it be soon.

    December 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. Lip

    Harry deserves whatever he gets. Harry and Nancy said they would destroy the Republican party and they gave us exactly what they said they would; eight long years of gridlock and yes, filibuster and our money and our economy were collateral damage.
    May Harry get what he deserves and may it be soon.

    December 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. Brandon4Hillary

    Anyone but Reid for Nevada Senate 2010

    December 17, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
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