Sen.Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader in the Senate, puzzled many in Washington when he loudly complained about a Republican National Committee e-mail that said his voting record was much more liberal than most Nevadans realized.
Mr. Reid, who began his tenure as minority leader by questioning the intelligence of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, denounced the Republican e-mail as a personal attack.
But Mr. Reid’s supposed anger over the usual rough-and-tumble of Washington politics may have had the usual motivation: raising money.
Mr. Reid, in an e-mail addressed to Friends of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), said:
“All this week, you’ve been hearing about how the Republicans are launching cheap personal attacks against me despite George Bush’s hollow promises of bipartisanship. Don’t worry about me. In case you didn’t know it, I’m a former boxer, and I am prepared to fight back — hard — against the dishonest attacks and stand up for our core Democratic values.
“Make no mistake. It’s only going to get worse. If this is how they treat me after only a few weeks on the job, imagine what they’ll do to our Senate candidates in 2006. It is vital that we build our campaign war chest early in order to make sure that Democrats have the money, research and grass-roots organization they need to control the national debate and win in 2006 and beyond. Your financial contribution is needed today.”
Frist and Dean
Just don’t say no.
That’s the advice Senate Republican leader Bill Frist gave to Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, failed presidential candidate, and newly elected Democratic National Committee chairman.
“Whether it’s Social Security or whether it’s the president’s Cabinet nominees, please, to Dr. Dean and his party, don’t say ‘no’ to everything,” Mr. Frist said on “Fox News Sunday.”
After a tough election year, the Tennessee Republican said Americans “want us to govern with meaningful solutions.”
Mr. Dean has told fellow Democrats that, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,” a comment Mr. Frist described as “disappointing.”
“It doesn’t mean the parties aren’t sharp and they’re not aggressive in defending their principles. But [the American people] want us to govern. And I don’t think that having a Democratic leader saying they hate everybody is going to feed into that,” Mr. Frist said.