Amy Gardner, writing in The Washington Post’s Post Politics column, has a very fair — and revealing — article on Harry Reid’s attack machine, and its distorted portrayals of Sharron Angle:
All summer long, Reid’s small army of young, eager staffers has bombarded Nevada voters with unflattering, sometimes distorted allegations about Angle. They have scoured old newspapers, government transcripts and video archives for anything she has said or done that might be turned against her. In television and radio ads, Reid’s aides have tried to create and then exploit perceptions that Angle is a dangerous reactionary….
It might also be said that the material shows who Harry Reid really is: how much money and manpower the powerful incumbent has to throw around (his campaign has $9 million in cash on hand); how far he is willing to go to turn voters against Angle; and how, as a result of his efforts, the unpopular senator has revived his chances of reelection in a year when most voters say they don’t want him in the Senate anymore.
Opposition research is standard operating procedure in modern politics. But for Reid, painting Angle as crazy has become an essential function of the campaign. The state’s soaring unemployment rate and his own lack of voter appeal have left him one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country.
Harry Reid has nothing to offer voters other than crushing national deficits and debt, health care controlled by massive bureaucracies and centralized rationing, tax dollars wasted to curry favor with labor unions, and permanent European-style double-digit unemployment resulting from stifling regulation and taxes.
Not surprisingly, Reid’s strategy always has been focused on “vaporizing” his opponents.
Gardner notes that the Reid campaign refused to say how many of “the Reid team’s 31 employees are focused on slinging mud,” but that as the polls have tightened, “Reid’s response has been to push even harder.”
Gardner notes that Reid’s campaign has largely given up on trying to improve Reid’s image:
But at this point, Reid, already disliked, isn’t trying to win people over. He’s trying to win, period.
A strategy which amounts to “I’ll just to win” no matter what. I wonder where we have heard that before?
The difference between the Angle and Reid campaigns remains that Sharron Angle wins by convincing voters that Harry Reid is who he is, while Harry Reid wins by convincing voters that Sharron Angle is something she is not.
Update: Stayed tuned to this video until 1:45 and hear how Harry Reid has written a letter expressing shock that current Medicare regulations, which are even less harsh than those needed to sustain $500 billion in Medicare cuts under Reid’s own health care bill, “result in a net reduction in payment to Nevada’s hospitals when they are unable to absorb such a cut.” So how does Reid expect Obamacare to be implemented without even more devastating cuts to Nevada hospitals? (h/t The New Ledger) [Note: The wording of this paragaraph has been updated from the original.]