Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is exuding confidence over the 2014 elections, claiming that Obamacare will actually help Senate Democrats.
Reid told The Hill, “I think for sure it will be a net positive. I think so by then for sure.” He added that because Senate Democrats have offered their input to the White House on the federal enrollment site HealthCare.gov, it has improved. “It’s gotten significantly better, but it was significantly bad so it has a long way to go.”
Reid was delighted that Phil Schiliro, a senior White House adviser now in charge of implementing Obamacare, met with Senate Democratic incumbents in danger of losing their seats in 2014. He gushed, “Phil Schiliro … came up today and had a good meeting with my 2014ers. The discussions were led by [Senate Majority Whip Dick] Durbin [(D-IL)] and it was an extremely positive, good meeting. That’s what we’ve needed from the White House for some time now, is someone to be able to reach out to.” He noted that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is a “good person but he’s overwhelmed with work, and he did not have the capacity, which is time, to do the hands-on work that is necessary with my senators.”
Reid criticized senior White House staffers for their lack of answers when the Obamacare rollout fizzled. “There was a period of time there where there were no questions that were answered because they were so overwhelmed with trying to get that program fixed… The only thing I want from the White House in 2014 is for them to be available to my senators who are running for reelection.”
The Senator is sanguine about Barack Obama’s low poll numbers. He stated loftily, “His numbers are going to go up. It’s a question of what’s gone on with this healthcare thing. It will get better. I’ve seen this over the years. You’d be surprised what three months’ difference makes.” Reid also has big plans of his own, saying of 2014:
We’re going to come back and we’re going to do unemployment. I’m pleased that as I understand it that [Sen.] Jack Reed [D-RI] and [Sen.] Dean Heller [R-NV] are going to be the people who are going to move the bill forward. Then we’re going to do flood insurance. Then we’re going to do minimum wage. Those things are not going to take care of the income inequality although it would help significantly. And then we have [to] process important nominations.
Reid does not think the GOP will get the six Senate seats they need for a majority in 2014, and he was pleased with the Democratic candidate in Georgia running for the open Senate seat: Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA).