Harry Reid won’t heed Republican calls to step down as majority leader following the revelation that he used some decidedly politically incorrect language to talk about Barack Obama. Reid feels he’s shored up support on the left, senior advisers tell Politico, meaning he can depict the attack launched by Michael Steele, John Cornyn, and Jon Kyl as a “political pile-on.”
Steele and company have complained of a double standard, likened Reid’s comments—that Obama could win the Oval Office because he is “light-skinned” and lacked a “negro dialect"—to the seemingly pro-segregation remarks that ousted Trent Lott. But Lott was booted by his fellow Republicans, and Democrats don’t seem inclined to do that. Unlike Lott, Reid has a solid civil rights record, and has garnered support from black leaders. With no clear rival and the president’s support, Reid’s camp says his problems are in Nevada, not Washington.