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Harry Reid has played a valued role, since taking over for the failed Tom Daschle, but his leadership has become less and less dynamic over the past several years.  His debate performance against Sharon Angle was not only uninspiring, but shaky.  He failed to communicate with the audience, and came across as a technocrat or bureaucrat, rather than as a strong leader.

This is the problem, in a nutshell.  Reid was ok a few years ago, did a reasonable job at first, but has become less and less dynamic over time.  His best days may be behind him, or he may simply be overworked.  Regardless, there isn't much prospect for an improvement.

What we need now is a strong leader who can battle more effectively with the Republicans, while inspiring the American people's support.  We need a new, younger  and more dynamic Majority Leader.

The two most likely candidates would be Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin.

Durbin has some of the skills, but he comes across as a bland milquetoast type whenever he addresses the American people.  Durbin is tainted by being a part of the top Senate leadership team, with Reid, and Reid's failures are partly due to Durbin.  If we shift to Durbin, from Reid, there's not much reason to think there would be a market improvement.  Another concern is that Durbin's views may be somewhat out of synch with those of the American mainstream - he comes across as a big city liberal (we are mostly liberals here, but the Dem leader must appeal to a broad spectrum of views in the moderate range, to help re-elect moderate DLC Dems).

Schumer has many advantages over Durbin.  Most importantly, Schumer is more dynamic, more feisty, and more effective as a leader.  He has excellent public speaking and PR skills.  He is not easily snookered, whereas the Durbin/Reid team has been constantly snookered.  Schumer is savvy and super-smart.  He is exciting.  He is progressive, but also a moderate.  The only possible concern with him is his east coast "edge," and he may come across as being harsh at times.  On the other hand, Americans respect tough.  Americans don't like wimpy leaders.  So they may take to Schumer's toughness.

If we hope to be able to guide the Dems through tough election cycles in 2012 and 2014, we need our top leader to be extremely gifted at maintaining the Democratic majority in the Senate.  Schumer has demonstrated his brilliance at electing and re-electing Democratic Senators (brilliant performances as head of DSCC in 2004 and 2006).

It would be encouraging to see a strong movement to replace Reid with Schumer in the days and weeks ahead.  There isn't much time - the movement has to start soon, or we will have two more uninspiring years with a weak and timid majority leader.

Originally posted to enthusiast on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:32 PM PST.

Poll

Who should be the next Maj leader?

14%48 votes
21%68 votes
48%157 votes
15%49 votes

| 322 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  I think Schumer is bound to win because (11+ / 0-)

      more people know him.  But, I voted Durbin.  I think that New York politicians are too close to Wall Street and too beholden of it.

      Durbin is great.  I actually wanted Reid to be the one to lose (of the various close races) so he would not be minority leader.

      Wait.  It's minority leader, not majority leader.  Change your title.

    •  Schumer is in the pocket of Wall Street (7+ / 0-)
      like our President.

      He may become the speaker, but he won't stop the rape of America by the banksters and their technocrat mafia.

      Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

      by Earth Ling on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:51:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's not in their pocket - not at all! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        That is an undocumented charge, without merit.  Of course, he wants American businesses to succeed, and this appeals to moderate Americans, but he is a true Democrat, and supports regulation, strong SEC, etc.

        Methinks this a trollish comment - how many Dems think Schumer is controlled by Wall Street?

        •  Ease off. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Earth Ling, Betty Pinson, JackND

          Earth Ling is no troll.

          The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

          by Orange County Liberal on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:17:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks OCL (2+ / 0-)

            I haven't delved deeply into Schumer's ties with Wall Street.  I'll do a little digging now.

            What I have seen has not been encouraging.  I'll return after a bit with what I find.

            Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

            by Earth Ling on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:22:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that didn't take long (3+ / 0-)

              Wall Street money rains on Chuck Schumer

              The lede from a 2009 article:

              Wall Street has showered nearly $11 million on the Senate since the beginning of the year, and more than 15 percent of it has gone to a single senator: Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

              Schumer’s $1.65 million take from the financial services industry is nearly twice that of any other senator's — and more than five times what the industry gave to any single Republican senator.

              And this from Glenn Greenwald(who I know offends many Kossacks - though probably fewer than in months past as those formerly offended Kossacks start noticing Greenwald is right about so much):

              Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

              by Earth Ling on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:34:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  and this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Orange County Liberal

                Who Owns Chuck Schumer?

                What makes Schumer so noteworthy is not the scale of contributions...  It is who is doing the giving.  In this case, the most generous giver is multi-billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson.

                Paulson is one of the first super-rich investors produced by the economic crisis that ensued in 2007-2008.  Before then, Paulson sniffed out the potential collapse in the US housing market by identifying the weakest link – the toxic mortgages being marketed to credit risky homeowners.  Paulson, working with the investment bank Goldman Sachs, bet that these loans would fail and reaped billions.

                The problem is the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Goldman Sachs, it seems, purposely designed the mortgage-backed securities Paulson sold short to fail – then profited from Paulson’s business while defrauding investors.  The SEC investigation resulted in a $550 million fine for Goldman Sachs.  Paulson beat the rap.  This time.

                Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

                by Earth Ling on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:40:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nothing improper about large contributions. (0+ / 0-)

                  Under the Citizen's United precdent in Supreme Court, Dems had better get used to receiving large corporate contributions.

                  Mr. Paulson seems to have been very savvy, but not to have done anything improper.  Yes, he made a bet that the market was going to collapse, and it did, but the collapse wasn't his fault.  

                  Would you have the same concern if the contribution had come from Warren Buffett or Bill Gates?  If we can't have some billionaires on our side, then we will be a permanent minority part in this country.

                  •  Paulson and GS committed massive fraud (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Orange County Liberal

                    Does that concern you?

                    Or would you be so "bold" as to say

                    "If we can't have some criminals on our side, then we will be a permanent minority party in this county."

                    ?

                    Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

                    by Earth Ling on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:53:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where was the fraud? (0+ / 0-)

                      If there was fraud, Schumer would have returned the campaign contribution.

                      John Paulson was savvy, but he felt that there was too much exuberance and bullishness, which he was right about.  His investments went against the market trend.  I'm not aware of any fraud.

                      If there was fraud, I'd be very loud about it - of all the fraud cases - look at a company like MBIA - now that was fraud, and AIG was massive fraud.  Many major wall streeters, and maybe almost all of them were fraudulent.

                      But Paulson?  He was one of the very few who could see the fraud that was taking place, and he was calling a fraud (trillions in fraud) what it was - it was a massive mega-fraud.

                      Why would Paulson then be accused of his own fraud - did he misrepresent himself in any way?  If he did, then Schumer should note it as such and return the campaign contribution.

                      I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

          •  Our Senator Schumer is with the people. (0+ / 0-)

            He's a very strong and pragmatic Senator, and a good man.  He's upright and admirable.

        •  It's a fairly common charge against him. He (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enthusiast

          did support Wall Street interests on several occasions. You could argue that they are simply his constituents. For example, any sane Senator from Michigan will support auto industry.

      •  How is he going to become speaker? (0+ / 0-)
  •  NOT Reid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluicebank, Nailbanger, Bluefin

    "The job of career politicians is to convince you that you have a perfectly free choice to hit yourself on the head with a brick or a baseball bat."

    by lisastar on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:36:49 PM PST

  •  And, if you really want to have a poll (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, Bluefin, JackND

    don't tell people how to vote in your diary.

  •  kos emphasizing the risk of losing Senate in 2012 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, bear83, satanicpanic, JGibson

    The risk is definitely there, and if Reid stays on, we might well lose the Dem majority in 2012.  If Obama runs and wins, with Reid as leader, we may be looking at a best possible scenario of 50 or 51 Senators in 2012, with the possibility of dropping into the mid to upper 40s.

    Durbin may or may not be slightly better than Reid.  He's younger, but doesn't come off as a strong leader.  He can appear to be even blander than Reid, if that is possible, and unlike Reid, Durbin could be portrayed as "too liberal" for America (fox and rove might have a field day with Durbin).  

    Schumer will definitely be better than Reid, and with Senator Schumer as the Majority Leader, we will have our best possible chance to maintain the majority in 2012 and beyond.  Schumer can do whatever is needed to field the best possible group of candidates, and can target the resources to maximize successful candidacies.

    More than that, Schumer can get things done.  He can prove to the American people that we have strong leaders that the people can have confidence in.  He has excellent speaking skills, and a no-nonsense approach.

    •  2 years ago, Kos emphasized our glorious chances (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satanicpanic, omgitsparishilton

      for adding to our senate majority in 2010.

      The political climate can turn on a dime. Kos doesn't have any better read on it than you or I.

      •  It's true, but..... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, Nailbanger, Bluefin
        1. We had Reid for the past two years, and no one would have imagined how poorly the Senate leadership would have performed with him as Maj Leader.  Reid really didn't handle the 59 seat majority very effectively, to put it mildly.
        1. No one could have imagined that Obama's economic leadership would fail to promote jobs growth the way they did in 2009/2010.
        1. A close look at our prospects makes it very clear that few Republicans are in danger of being ousted in 2012.  We'll be lucky to pick up 2 or 3, at best, and we have to defend a lot of vulnerable seats - could lose half a dozen, easily, unless we get better leadership and more jobs.
  •  merkley (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stumptown Dave, liberte

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:42:34 PM PST

  •  Boxer. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, liberte, vcmvo2, kurt, satanicpanic

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:45:10 PM PST

  •  Franken! (4+ / 0-)

    Naw...too soon.

    Schumer.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:45:21 PM PST

  •  Harry won reelection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChicDemago

    by a decisive margin. It wasn't even close. You might think his debate performance was shaky, but it obviously didn't turn away voters. They reelected him anyway.

    •  Did you happen to notice his opponent (0+ / 0-)

      I give him credit for learning from Daschle 2004 and doing everything possible to ensure an Angle match up.  But that angle was pretty frickin obtuse and it was still only a 5 pt win.  Berkeley would have made it 20.

  •  Levin nt (0+ / 0-)

    I'm only hard headed when you take me for granite

    by Im a frayed knot on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:45:34 PM PST

  •  Harry Reid is more at fault (8+ / 0-)

    for the Democrats' failure in the election than anyone else. The House did a lot of good work, and the Senate killed most of it with their insane rules and tradition.

    The Republicans entire plan for 2009-2010 was delay stall delay stall delay stall. All they wanted to do was run out the clock on the 59 seat Democratic majority. Reid played right into their hands.

    There should never be a tax benefit for companies that screw over American workers.

    by bear83 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 06:51:26 PM PST

  •  Schumer? No gracias (6+ / 0-)

    He would give away every single Democratic position and never think twice about it.  Go read the New Yorker profile of him, which isn't hostile by any means but tells you everything you need to know.  I'd much rather keep Reid if that's our choice.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:07:45 PM PST

    •  How do explain his passion in electing Democrats? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      If he's not a dedicated Democrat, then why did he fight so tenaciously and effectively to elect Dems in 2004 and 2006?

      •  That's absolutely true (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RickD, liberte, satanicpanic, standupguy

        He is a totally ass-kicking DSCC guy.  But he always looks for the most centrist candidate--he only cares that the candidate can win.  He has never cared about how they'd be as a Senator.  That's fine--it's a division of labor society.  But it's the wrong skill set for Majority Leader because he would give away anything to get that vote, and we'd have legislation that's hardly different from what Republicans would give us.

        The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

        by Rich in PA on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:14:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We need a realistic, pragmatic leader right now. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          As much as I would love to have someone like George McGovern or Eugene McCarthy or Frank Church or Nancy Pelosi running the Senate, I don't see it happening in the next 20 years, and probably not in the next 40 years, the way things are going in this country.

          No, our best shot now is to go with someone who is highly gifted, skilled, and pragmatic, someone who is held in awe to a certain extent for the way he gets things done.  Even the Republicans have to respect Schumer, if only out of fear.  The Republicans would not fear Durbin, nor would they respect him, and Reid, we know they hold him in disdain.

          You'd be surprised - New York is one of the most progressive States in the country, and New Yorkers are very, very, very happy with Senator Schumer!

          •  I don't agree but in good Schumer style... (0+ / 0-)

            ...I'm willing to deal.  If Schumer pledges to do away with the filibuster, I'll go with him.  Otherwise I don't see any point.  

            The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

            by Rich in PA on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:29:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Filibuster reform is crucial. (0+ / 0-)

              Can't see Reid (or Durbin) getting it through, but Schumer would give us our strongest shot at some kind of filibuster reform (e.g., at least permitting the President his choices of appointees with 51 votes in Senate).

            •  Is That A Joke? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluefin

              I really don't know.

              Every bill that comes from the house will be a Republican bill and every bill from the Senate that has any Democratic support will go to the House to die...and you want to give up the best tool that we have? Shirley---you jest!

              And I wanna see the secret hold continue too.

              I want to see Senator Franken say on the Senate floor "I am placing a secret hold on this bill to force all mothers to renounce their gay children!"

              "So, you want to place a hold for someone else?"

              "Oh, no, I'm placing the hold-I just want it to be a secret."

              That's what I want.

              The Republicans have used the secret hold and the filibuster to great effect in the last 2 years and I want to shove their medicine down their throats (as they might say). I want to see the Democrats block every stupid fucking bill the Republicans promote. I want to see the Democrats stand up for Social Security, the middle class, jobs and apple pie.

              You can't do that without the filibuster of the secret hold.

              /rant

              And as for speaker---I'm thinkin' Boxer. Elections have consequences.

              "Not smuggling--SNUGGLING. Tea baggers love sheep SNUGGLING! Do I have to draw you a friggin' picture?" Homogenius

              by liberte on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 08:20:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you want the secret hold, (0+ / 0-)

                you'll have to go to judo school to learn it.

                Seriously, secret hold probably won't help Dems until 2012 - and then, maybe we'll need it.

                We might not see the hold eliminated, but it harms us more than helps us - because the Republicans abuse it, and so there is a vast asymmetry in how it is applied.

                Regardless, we could at least hope for a change in "rules," allowing the President his choice of appointees with a mere 51 vote majority.  

                •  Again, anything coming from the House will be... (0+ / 0-)

                  Rabid Republican. I want to keep every tool we have in our arsenal.

                  As for appointees-I agree. Lets have an uperdown vote on every one!

                  "Not smuggling--SNUGGLING. Tea baggers love sheep SNUGGLING! Do I have to draw you a friggin' picture?" Homogenius

                  by liberte on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 08:44:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "every bill from the House will be rabid..." (0+ / 0-)

                    We could just vote them down. Or Obama could veto them.

                    I'm sorry, but it's pathetic to rely upon a filibuster when the Democrats have the majority in the Senate and the Presidency.  

                    Filibuster reform would be a good idea now because Republicans might go for it.  They'd never go for it when they are in the majority.  In the long run, the filibuster does far more harm than good.

                    A person who campaigns on change and then defends the status quo has no business blaming the people who believed his promises.

                    by RickD on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 08:54:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  are you a staffer or something? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 11:09:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Durbin is the best for Dems and the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JackND

    I hope Harry Reid will step aside (ha, ha) and allow us to move into 2011 with a new Senate leader -- Dick Durbin.  

  •  For my part, I wish that Hillary Clinton (0+ / 0-)

    was still in the Senate, because I think she would make a better Senate Majority Leader than any of the above. Even though I'm not her biggest fan and didn't support her presidential campaign, I think she would be very effective in that role. Also, I think it's ludicrous to have someone like Harry Reid or Tom Daschle as Senate Majority Leader, because the electoral peril that's inherent in their senate seats is a peril to the continuity of leadership.

    "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." Aristotle

    by camlbacker on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:27:13 PM PST

  •  Give it to Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberte, snapples
  •  I'm from NY don't want Schumer.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, snapples, Bluefin, Wolf10

    I simply do not trust that he'll do right by mainstreet. He WILL be in the pocket of wall street.

  •  who the hell cares what we think? (0+ / 0-)

    Stupid poll.  We have no say in the matter.

    grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

    by N in Seattle on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 08:35:58 PM PST

  •  No.....not Schumer. When Blanche Lincoln won (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, standupguy, Wolf10

    after being primaried by Bill Halter, Schumer held his arms up in victory.  He congratulated her on "fighting Wall St & fighting unions".  Her sham derivatives bill was just to get her through the primary.  Why would a Dem want to fight unions?  

    Not Schumer.  He's just more of the same corporate spin.  We need a Progressive as Majority Leader in the Senate.....he's no Progressive.

  •  I am not certain (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, RickD, standupguy, JackND

    where you come up with this notion:

    Another concern is that Durbin's views may be somewhat out of synch with those of the American mainstream - he comes across as a big city liberal (we are mostly liberals here, but the Dem leader must appeal to a broad spectrum of views in the moderate range, to help re-elect moderate DLC Dems).

    Durbin was born and raised in Southern Illinois and represented Springfield in Congress before running for the Senate.  In fact, concerns at the time he first ran for the U.S. Senate were that he was too moderate and out of touch with Chicago issues. Someone upthread implies that Durbin is associated Chicago-style politics, which could not be further from the truth.

    While Durbin served in the House, he was not as liberal in his stands, perhaps in line with his district's leanings.  But he has proven those who considered him too moderate wrong since he was elected to the Senate. He has been a fantastic senator, and I would be pleased to see him serve as majority leader.

  •  Durbin (0+ / 0-)

    Durbin will never be majority leader as long as Obama is president. The GOP already runs around yelling about "Chicago thug politics" if the president sneezes. Having the president and the Senate Majority Leader from Illinois will create the perfect optics for the GOP to scream machine takeover

  •  I hope Durbin gets it (0+ / 0-)

    Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I hope Dick Durbin gets it.

    A couple Dark Horses: Sherrod Brown or Debbie Stabenow.

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