Invoking 'Fire Pelosi' From 2010, GOP Takes On Harry Reid. Will It Work?

Harry Reid of Nevada, the top Democrat in the Senate, isn’t on the ballot this November. But Republicans are effectively trying to put him there.

By going after Senator Reid, the theory goes, Republicans will make him poisonous to Democratic senators in tough reelection battles around the country – the very Democrats Reid needs to hold onto the majority leader job. 

Republicans say the tactic worked in 2010, when they made “Fire Pelosi” the rallying cry in their effort to retake the House and boot then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the speaker’s chair. The Democrats got skunked, and Speaker Pelosi got demoted.

On Wednesday, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus launched his party’s latest attack on Reid: a charge that he is violating Senate ethics rules by putting “partisan campaign attacks” on his Senate website and Twitter feed.

Reid’s spokesman didn’t reply directly to the ethics charge, instead returning fire on the GOP.

Whether Republicans can turn Reid into the bogeyman of the 2014 midterms is an open question. Reid’s public persona is low-key and at times awkward, though behind the scenes, he is seen as a wily operator.

“Will all of these charges against Reid stick? Probably not,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “But Republicans loathe Harry Reid. He’s on a par with Nancy Pelosi. It helps them put a face on another reason why they should take the Senate.”

The attacks on Reid also energize mega-donors, who may then open their wallets again, Mr. O’Connell says.

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Chrisitian Science Monitor

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