Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shocked some of his fellow Democrats this week by referring to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) at a private event as the Senate's "hottest member." The remark, which even some liberal commentators blasted as "sexist," has focused potentially unhelpful attention on Reid in the midst of his tight re-election bid against Tea Party-backed Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada. Will the incident hurt Reid's chances?
Yes, Reid is creeping out voters: Harry Reid's plan of attack against Sharron Angle hinges on "painting her as an extremist given to odd public statements," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. But after this "creepy" remark — which came on the heels of his claim that Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons is his "pet" — Nevada voters will be "wondering whether Reid is the oddball that needs to be kept as far from Washington as possible."
"Reid's new pet?"
One joke is no big deal: Reid was merely ribbing Gillibrand about an article in the D.C. newspaper The Hill, says Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo, that put the junior senator from New York at No. 3 on its "Top 50 Most Beautiful People" list. Nos. 1 and 2 weren't members of the Senate, so that makes Gillibrand the "hottest" senator. And Reid made the comment while complimenting Gillibrand's work and capabilities as a senator.
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This might not hurt Reid personally, but it hurts the Dems' cause: Nevada voters already see Reid as "a bit of a doofus who is prone to Bidenesque utterances," says Tony Harnden in Britain's Telegraph. But the "pet" comment could cost Chris Coons five points in his race against Christine O'Donnell. And calling Gillibrand "hot" is "incredibly belittling" — no woman should have to endure such such "stupid, inappropriate" comments from a superior. Way to fire up the base, Harry.
"Senator Harry Reid: Guilty of sexual harassment in the workplace?"
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