Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, who handily won Tuesday's Nevada GOP primary to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), could be the best thing that's happened to Reid's shaky reelection hopes, say some commentators. Nevada Democrats promptly issued a news release "Sharron’s ‘Wacky’ Angles" to highlight her "dangerous ideas" (dismantling the Education Department, for one). But does Angle's history of controversial positions really make her too "wacky" to beat the unpopular Reid? (Watch a Fox News report about Sharron Angle's chances of winning)
Angle's "treasure chest of goodies" might save Reid: So far we've learned that Angle opposes fluoride in drinking water, Social Security, the legal sale of alcohol, and two-income families, says Sam Stein at The Huffington Post. And it's a good bet the unearthed "quotes and anecdotes only get more colorful" going forward. No wonder Reid's backers showed "noticeable glee" at her victory.
"Sharron Angle... already providing treasure chest of goodies for Harry Reid"
Team Angle doesn't seem worried: If Reid wants to paint Angle as some "kook out of Dr. Strangelove," her supporters say: "Bring it on," says Dave Weigel in The Washington Post. Most of Reid's opposition research is stale, and as long as she "avoids brand new gaffes" early on — think Kentucky Tea Partier Rand Paul's civil rights snafu — "they're not sweating it."
"Sharron Angle backers greeting new attacks with yawns"
Reid's the worried one: Democrats would love to "Rand Paul" Angle, says pseudonymous blogger Left Coast Rebel. But Tea Partiers and Republicans support her because of her fierce anti-tax record, and Reid's "'Angle is a whackjob' campaign" won't dissuade them, or Nevadans generally, from dumping him for "a tax fighter that perhaps can stand up to the radical statist Democrat agenda."
"Meet Sharron Angle"
The race is the perfect toss-up: "It's safe to say neither contender is beloved in Nevada," says Jill Lawrence in Politics Daily. But they're "near-perfect symbols" of the 2010 election — the "Washington insider and powerbroker" vs. the Tea Party–backed "unyielding conservative." The energy is on Angle's side so far, but "the good news for Reid" is that "the race already is as much about her as it is about him."
"Harry Reid vs. Sharron Angle: Each is vulnerable to attack—and ridicule"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Rise of the machines
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 10 things you need to know today: October 20, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ban PowerPoint!
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series
Subscribe to the Week