Franken Victory Could be Nightmare for Harry Reid

Majority leader faces 'a lot more pressure'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 6, 2009 8:29 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009, following the weekly policy luncheons .   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Al Franken brings Harry Reid a potential extra vote—but he also brings the Senate majority leader a massive headache, Politico reports. “What’s really changed for us?” says a leadership aide. “Nothing, really. Except there’s a lot more pressure.” That may be an understatement: Democrats won’t likely vote as a single bloc, but they'll still blame Reid if he fails to get results (and even if he does). If he compromises too much, he’ll draw fire from the left; if he “rams through” lefty bills, he’ll get pounded by the right.

Reid’s toughest battles may come on health care, climate change, and immigration. “Sixty is a huge development for Reid and the Democratic Caucus, but it’s not a free and clear 60,” said a top Senate Democratic insider. It’s “in no way a guaranteed vote for every item on the Democratic agenda. Once again, kingmaking power is back in the hands of moderates.”