…[Harry] Reid told roughly 50 aides at an unusual all-staff briefing just off the Senate floor that he is definitely running in 2016, prompting a round of applause, according to attendees. And in a brief interview with POLITICO, Reid made clear that he’s directed his top political aide, Rebecca Lambe, to continue hiring senior-level staff, including a campaign manager.
“I talked to Rebecca this week, they are still interviewing people, the answer is yes,” Reid said when asked if he was 100 percent committed to running.
That answer leaves zero wiggle room for a self-imposed or early exodus. This is happening. Despite his ill health, he’s staffing up and taking all the necessary precautions to extend his amazingly-long tenure in the upper chamber. Of course, we had strong suspicions Reid wasn’t comfortable with the idea of leaving the Senate voluntarily; a few weeks ago he told reporters point blank “I plan on running.” How much more transparent could he possibly be?
Still, now the hard work begins. Republicans must finally recruit a challenger who can serve as an effective and forward-looking spokesman for the party and convince the voters of Nevada that it’s high time to retire their fabulously wealthy elder statesman. In fairness, that shouldn't be too difficult. But given Republicans' reputation for recruiting bad candidates, who knows what the future might bring.