Despite devastating loses, Senate Democrats showed little sign of ditching the leadership team that led them to an Election Night disaster.
Sen. Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who will lose his job as majority leader in the new GOP-run Senate, appeared ready to run for minority leader and has the support of his leadership team, Politico reported.
Mr. Reid’s top lieutenants — Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Patty Murray of Washington — all remain loyal supporters of Mr. Reid and will back him for minority leader, according to the report.
Mr. Reid even began easing into his new role in the minority Tuesday night when offering congratulations to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who won a tough re-election bout in Kentucky and is poised to become majority leader.
“I’d like to congratulate Sen. McConnell, who will be the new Senate majority leader,” Mr. Reid said. “The message from voters is clear: They want us to work together. I look forward to working with Sen. McConnell to get things done for the middle class.”
Mr. Reid, who has been the top Democrat since 2005 and majority leader since 2007, became a chief target of Republican on the campaign trail who blamed him for the paralysis gripping the Senate. Mr. Reid stymied legislation and limited votes on amendment in an attempt to protect Democrats from taking difficult votes that also could have embarrassed President Obama.
Republicans cheered their takeover of the Senate majority as a repudiation of Mr. Obama and Mr. Reid’s stewardship of the upper chamber.
Democrats said they had an agenda suited for the middle class, and women in particular, yet it is the Republicans who will take the reins in January.
Reveling in the change, Republican senators who did not have to face re-election cheered the results.
“I returned to the Senate to tackle the big issues we face and pass along a stronger America to the next generation,” said Sen. Dan Coats, Indiana Republican. “To my great frustration, Harry Reid effectively shut down the Senate during the last four years, stifling debate and blocking proposals that did not fit his narrow political agenda. This change in leadership provides a fresh start and an opportunity to move forward much-needed measures to strengthen our economy and spur job creation.”
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