Opinion Brief

Sharron Angle: Fatally gaffe-prone?

As Nevada Senate candidate Angle's regrettable public comments on rape and other issues add up, could she now be her rival Harry Reid's "biggest asset?"

Sharron Angle, the Tea Party–backed Republican taking on endangered Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), is providing plenty of grist for Reid attack ads. After slamming Reid for saving a Las Vegas resort project that could create 22,000 jobs, then walking back her criticism of BP's $20 billion oil-spill victims' account as a "slush fund," Angle raised eyebrows by advising a hypothetical 13-year-old rape-incest victim to steer clear of abortion and make "a lemon situation into lemonade." Is Angle blowing the GOP's easiest shot to pick up a Senate seat? (Watch Keith Olbermann slam Sharron Angle for her gaffes)

Reid couldn't ask for a better foil: It's pretty clear that "Sharron Angle has quickly become Harry Reid's biggest asset," says Alex Altman in Time. For Republicans, her foot-in-mouth candidacy is a cautionary tale about the "political dangers of the Tea Party's quest for ideological purity." But for Reid, "she may be a lifeline" in his once-doomed reelection bid. "Sharron Angle's latest gaffe"

The media misunderstands the word "gaffe": I'm not sure all the "hyperventilating" by the "liberal media" can save Reid, says self-styled "BlogProf" Chris Kobus. Take Angle's "lemonade" quote: As a "100% pro-life" candidate, it's not news that she's against aborting babies regardless of "the manner of their conception." In fact, the only difference between her and "99% pro-life" Reid is that he thinks abortion's okay for rape and incest. "Liberal media shocked, SHOCKED! that Sharron Angle... is really pro-life"

Reid needs her to keep talking: "Lemons into lemonade?" says Jim Newell in Gawker. Wow, what a "really awful metaphor choice." Just because your anti-abortion stance is ideologically consistant" doesn't mean you should try to "spin" being raped by your father "into positives." No wonder she "refused to talk to any reporters for weeks." "Wingnut candidate advises... incest victims to turn lemons into lemonade"

Angle could turn into a formidable candidate: "Lord knows I’ve not always written flattering things about Angle," says Jim Geraghty in National Review. But this recent string of gaffes revealed "a surprising reason to like" her: As the BP "slush fund" slip-up shows, "when she thinks she’s made a mistake, she comes out and says so." That's more than you can say for Reid. "Sharron Angle: BP isn't donating to a slush fund"

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