In a Wednesday sit-down interview with POLITICO, Sen. Harry Reid still showed no signs of believing Democrats did anything wrong during the 2016 campaign.
Not straying from his typically rude demeanor, the retiring Democrat from Nevada blamed everything under the sun from FBI director James Comey to the Koch brothers, but refused to acknowledge any fault by members of his own party.
But as Harry Reid prepares to leave the Senate this month after 34 years in Washington, he says everything is just fine with his party, thank you.
To hear Reid tell it, the party’s electoral collapse wasn’t a result of poor messaging or even a bad candidate. It stemmed from looser campaign finance rules, FBI Director James Comey and the influence of a few powerful individuals — namely the Koch brothers, his long-running nemeses. The outgoing Senate minority leader is unapologetic on behalf of his party, and remains resolute that Democrats don’t need to chart a new political course after their 2016 debacle.
“They have Trump, I understand that. But I don’t think the Democratic Party is in that big of trouble,” Reid said in a half-hour interview with Politico on Wednesday, one day before he’ll deliver his farewell address. “I mean, if Comey kept his mouth shut, we would have picked up a couple more Senate seats and we probably would have elected Hillary.”
There you have it. Democratic strategy or messaging had nothing to do with their loss. They weren’t at fault for nominating a flawed candidate, nor were they at fault for ignoring working-class voters. Nope. It was all the fault of James Comey for doing his job and investigating Clinton’s abuse of classified emails. Turning the Koch brothers into boogeymen didn’t help Democrats when they made it a campaign theme in 2014, and it didn’t help them in 2016. Why does Reid continue to make them a liberal talking point?
It appears Democrats really didn’t learn anything from their defeat in November. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was re-elected to her leadership position. New York senator Chuck Schumer will replace Reid next year as Senate minority leader. The Democratic party will continue to represent the East and West coasts and ignore Middle America. At the same time, their party’s current Senate leader refuses to even acknowledge failings by his side.
The first step in rebuilding your party would be to admit fault and go from there. Most Americans would probably agree the Democratic party is not recovering well when Harry Reid is saying the director of the FBI should have “kept his mouth shut.”