The Blog

Harry Reid: "The Surge Worked"

12:58 AM, Oct 15, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

The Daily Caller's Jon Ward has a good write-up of the one and only debate of the campaign between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle:

Sharron Angle was every bit the hard line conservative she has been portrayed to be. Harry Reid was just as stiff and pedestrian a communicator as he has always been.

But the ideological divide between the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada and his Republican challenger was clear Thursday night in their one and only debate of the Senate campaign. The getting there was painful.

And whether the debate nudged a too-close-to-call race between the two either way won’t be known for several days, when new polling data is released.

Reid was on the defensive, unable to give a straight answer on whether abortion should be covered by President Obama’s health care legislation or whether English should be designated the nation’s official language by constitutional amendment.

Pressed as to why he and Obama focused on health care instead of jobs as their top priority in 2009, Reid said, “Health insurance reform creates job.”

Read the rest here. RealClearPolitics has the video of Reid saying "the surge worked" (!), and incoherently trying to explain his "the war is lost" comment. And here's the clip of Reid not being able to say if abortions should be covered by Obamacare:

Reid also made the bizarre claim that Mitch McConnell agreed with him that the Senate shouldn't vote on extending the Bush tax cuts until after the election: "Mitch McConnell and I, who's my Republican counterpart, we don’t agree on everything, but we agree on one thing: that we have to wait until we get back after the election to find out what the economy's going to be. ... We have to see what we are told by the experts what we should do with the people that make more than that." That's just not true.

Angle started off a little shaky, but grew more confident throughout the debate. She certainly had the soundbite of the night: "Man up, Harry Reid. You need to understand that we have a problem with Social Security. That problem was created because of government taking that money out of the Social Security trust fund.” That line, along with a vague response about why she no longer says she wants to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare, helped her dodge the entitlements question.

In some cases, she gave the best answer she could in response to a previous flub, even if the moderator didn't recognize it. For example:

MODERATOR: Do you believe that getting jobs for Nevadans is not your job?

ANGLE: I believe that my job is to create the policies that will encourage the private sector to do what they do best, and that is to create jobs.

MODERATOR: That’d be a no.

Angle definitely isn't the smoothest candidate ever. Her cadence is a bit off, as if she's always out of breath. But, hey, she was debating Harry Reid. Angle held her own, and it's hard to see how the debate will move the polls in Reid's favor.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers