Dems' Silent Fear: What if Reid Loses in 2010?
Party unity expected to take a hit if majority leader is voted out in 2010
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 6:24 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. gestures while addressing health care rally, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid hasn't kept a very high profile as Senate majority leader but the vital role he's been playing will become obvious if he is unseated in next year's elections, say Democratic insiders. Even the Nevada senator's critics admit that he's stopped liberal and moderate Democrats from feuding, and many worry that the chamber will become even more partisan if liberal Sens. Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer, seen as the only two likely candidates, take his place.

Reid's backers say the former prizefighter has a knack for figuring out what members of the Democratic conference want. "You’ve got people who ask, ‘What does Harry actually do around here?’" one insider with ties to Reid tells Politico. "I say, ‘Just wait til he’s gone. You’ll see just what he did; how he held things together." For now, the subject of "life after Harry" isn't spoken of publicly among Senate Democrats and spokespeople for Durbin and Schumer declined to comment on possible post-Reid career moves.