Angle: ‘Shock and Awe’ in Washington on Nov. 3

Sen. John McCain delivered a rousing endorsement Friday of Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle and urged cheering supporters to send her to Washington as part of a historic turnaround in Washington power.

A confident-sounding Angle, locked in a tight race with Majority Leader Harry Reid, predicted “there is going to be shock and awe in Washington” on Nov. 3, the day after the election.

“We need to take back our economy,” she said. “It’s our government and it’s our money.”

McCain, the 2008 presidential nominee, told the crowd at a Las Vegas casino that the “election will change America. The world is watching.

“Sharron brings hope and Sharron brings action,” he said after embracing the former Reno legislator on stage, with an oversized American flag draped behind them.

McCain’s appearance was intended to bolster Angle’s credibility, particularly with moderates, in a campaign in which Reid has relentlessly attacked her as a fringe conservative unfit for office. A succession of speakers, including actor and conservative activist Jon Voight, said her election would help turn back two years of Democratic policies that had damaged the nation’s standing at home and abroad.

The invited crowd cheered, “Dump Harry Reid.”

Across town, Reid was targeting Filipinos, the second largest foreign-born group in Nevada, at a crowded rally with popular Filipino boxer and congressman Manny Pacquiao.

Reid and Pacquiao entered the room to chants of “Manny, Manny.” In a brief speech, Pacquiao endorsed Reid in his native Tagalog.

Reid, a former boxer, denounced Angle’s conservative views, her criticism of Social Security, Wall Street regulation and public health care for veterans.

Read more here.

Nevada voting machines automatically checking Harry Reid’s name; voting machine technicians are SEIU members

Clark County is where three quarters of Nevada’s residents and live and where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son Rory is a county commissioner. Rory is also a Democratic candidate for governor.

Since early voting started, there have been credible reports that voting machines in Clark County, Nevada are automatically checking Harry Reid’s name on the ballot:

Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn’t alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

“Something’s not right,” Ferrara said. “One person that’s a fluke. Two, that’s strange. But several within a five minute period of time — that’s wrong.”

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said there is no voter fraud, although the issues do come up because the touch-screens are sensitive. For that reason, a person may not want to have their fingers linger too long on the screen after they make a selection at any time.

Now there’s absolutely no independently verified evidence of chicanery with the voting machines (yet), but it is worth noting that the voting machine technicians in Clark County are members of the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU spent $63 million in elections in 2008 and is planning on spending $44 million more this election cycle — nearly all of that on Democrats. White House political director Patrick Gaspard is formerly the SEIU’s top lobbyist, and former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House last year.

Read more here.

Angle campaign attorney: Reid “intends to steal this election if he can’t win it outright”

So says Cleta Mitchell, the same woman who tried to get Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party of Nevada candidate out of the race, in an astonishing fundraising letter:

As Sharron Angle’s campaign attorney, I am sorry to report that the Democrats and their cronies are up to their same old tricks, of trying to manipulate the election in hopes of skewing the results in their favor.

Two days ago, the Democratic Secretary of State announced that voters can be provided “free food” at “voter turnout events.” Harry Reid has been offering free food and, according to other reports, some Democratic allies such as teachers’ unions are offering gift cards in return for a vote for Reid.

Before we were even able to document the reported infractions to report to the authorities, the Democrat Secretary of State slammed the door shut on preventing this behavior and issued a public statement permitting these ACORN-style tactics. THESE are the kinds of shenanigans that can turn this race.

Harry Reid intends to steal this election if he can’t win it outright. As a result, we need to deploy literally dozens of election law attorneys and poll watchers to combat these tactics at a cost of nearly $80,000. That’s over and above our current budget. We need to raise $80,000 and we need to do it RIGHT NOW, because even as I am writing this, Harry Reid and his Machine are trying to steal this election. I’m sorry that we have to come to you yet again and ask for you to reach deep and contribute, but we must.

Understand, EVERYTHING we have worked for in the last year could be destroyed by dirty tricks and criminal acts in the next 8 days. As Sharron’s first line of defense on these matters I am absolutely committed to making sure this won’t happen.

What Harry Reid is doing is clearly illegal. Nevada law (NRS 293.700) provides that, “A person who bribes, offers to bribe, or use and other corrupt means, directly or indirectly, to influence any elector in giving his or her vote or to deter the elector from giving it is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.”

Read more here.

Meet Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle first realized the extent of the brewing revolt against Washington in late March, at a tea party protest in Searchlight, Nev. A “Woodstock of the West,” she calls it. “More than 30,000 people sojourned to this tiny rural town of 900 people,” Mrs. Angle says. “The highways were jammed up and became parking lots.”

To get to the stage, this 60-year-old grandmother of 10 says she “climbed on the back of a Harley Davidson Road King bike and rode through the immense crowds.” Once there, she reminded the throng that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must be replaced.

Now, after sprinting past two better-known and better-funded opponents in the June Republican primary, the party has chosen Mrs. Angle to go up against him. “I knew that if we were going to actually defeat Harry Reid,” Mrs. Angle says, “we had to have a candidate who would offer a sharp policy contrast. Someone who would not just pay lip service to limited government principles, but had a solid record of voting that way time and again. I’m that candidate.”

Thus has Sharron Angle—a former teacher, business owner, state legislator and political rabble-rouser—emerged as one of the three most prominent figures in the tea party movement. Sarah Palin and Rand Paul of Kentucky are the other two. Her campaign to become the next U.S. Senator from Nevada figures to be among the most closely watched, and surely among the most colorful, contests this November.

Read more here.

Tea Party Darling Angle Hits Back at Reid

FILE: Tea Party favorite, Sharron Angle is running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada for a U.S. Senate seat

AP

HENDERSON, Nev. — Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle on Friday denounced Majority Leader Harry Reid as a “desperate man” who was distorting her conservative record while ignoring a state that leads the nation in joblessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies.

A day after President Obama delivered a mocking indictment of her candidacy at a rally in Las Vegas, Angle accused the president and Reid of pushing billions of dollars in stimulus spending while Nevada struggles with “an economy that is a disaster.”

She called for repeal of the health care overhaul, lower taxes and disbanding federal agencies, including the Education Department, that she said had responsibilities that can be handled at the state level.

“I hold him personally responsible for what is happening in our nation,” Angle said, referring to Reid, who is seeking a fifth term.

“Why would you believe anything he puts on television?” said Angle, who’s faced a barrage of negative TV ads since winning the June 8 primary. “This man has been waterboarding our economy.”

Angle’s remarks come a day after Obama depicted Angle as a fringe candidate who would privatize Social Security and Medicare. Referring to Angle, Obama said “she favors an approach that’s even more extreme than the Republicans we got in Washington. That’s saying something.”

Angle said Obama came to the state but failed, like Reid, to recognize its problems. “This is not a bright new day,” she said.

She told reporters her positions are “very much in the mainstream.”

The event attended by 250 Republicans amounted to a cheerleading session for Angle and other GOP candidates, but there was obvious concern for party unity and finances in a state where Democrats hold a significant registration edge. During a bruising Senate primary, the campaign of Angle’s chief rival, Sue Lowden, questioned whether Angle could win in November.

“We don’t need the fight inside our own house,” warned Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Angle told the crowd, “I need your help and I need a unified party.”

There were conspicuous absences at the biannual event, including Rep. Dean Heller, state Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio and Lowden, a former state GOP chair
who was long considered the favorite for the Senate nomination. State Republican Chairman Mark Amodei said he was unaware of any friction related to appearances by Angle or Steele, who has faced calls for his resignation since he criticized Obama’s handling of the Afghanistan war and suggested that it can’t be won.

The Nevada race has become a fierce competition between dueling narratives: Angle sees Reid as responsible for the state’s reeling economy and a facilitator of runaway Washington spending, while Reid’s campaign has stamped Angle as a loopy extremist whose proposals place her far out of the mainstream.

New ads appeared on TV from two independent groups Friday. Patriot Majority, funded largely by labor unions, lances Angle for her statement that it would not be her job as senator to create jobs. Angle has said she would work to create a business-friendly environment where companies grow and expand their payrolls. “Just another bad idea from Sharron Angle,” a narrator says.

Americans for New Leadership, a political committee formed this week, is running an ad that defends Angle and calls Reid’s ads “a lie.” The Nevada-based group hasn’t filed federal records yet disclosing the source of its funding. Its website says it backs candidates who support limited government.

The Original Mr. Anti-Establishment: Ronald Reagan

By Jeffrey Lord

They didn’t like him.

To be more precise, they thought him an extremist, un-electable, an ultra-right wing nut, dumb, ignorant and, more to the point, not one of their crowd.

One out of six was absolutely correct.

Ronald Reagan was not one of their crowd. Ever.

The “crowd”” was The Establishment. The Establishment as it appeared in all of its various incarnations during Ronald Reagan’s political life. First it was the California Republican Party Establishment. Then the Liberal Establishment. Followed by the national Republican Party Establishment. Next up was The Eastern Establishment. Last but not least was the Washington Establishment.

And in each and every case save one (1976), Reagan — and more to the point today — the people who came to be known as “conservatives” or “Reaganites” beat those Establishments like a drum.

In the wake of the Nevada Senate primary victory of Republican Sharron Angle (and the emergence of South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and the continuing popularity of Alaska’s Sarah Palin — not to mention other conservatives around the country), yet again The Establishment resurrects exactly the same now very old and tired alarms once raised about Ronald Reagan himself.

Who are these people?

Believe it or not, Webster’s Dictionary actually provides a definition for “the Establishment” (although they don’t capitalize that initial “T”). Definition: “The people and institutions constituting the existing power structure in society…the dominant or controlling group in a field of endeavor or organization.”

It’s hard now, impossible even, for many to understand the scorn and derision Reagan first faced when he emerged on the national political scene. Let’s go back and take a look at what was once said of the man now revered by the American people as the greatest president in American history, according to a Gallup Poll taken a month after Barack Obama took office.

On January 22, 1965, which is to say two days after Lyndon Johnson was inaugurated and the liberal Great Society was launched in earnest — three months after LBJ’s landslide defeat of Barry Goldwater — the New York Times was already on Reagan’s case.

In just one story alone, in which Reagan was said to be weighing a race for Governor of California the following year, the liberal line that would follow Reagan for the rest of his active political life was already in evidence.

• “Conservatives” the piece said, were looking to Reagan as a way out of the “wreckage” of the 1964 election. Times Translation: Here goes the right wing again. Who created the Republican wreckage in the first place? Conservatives, that’s who. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, that’s who. Why in the world would the GOP ever turn to a Goldwater supporter like Reagan for anything?

• “Republican organization leaders in California,” said the paper, were skeptical that Reagan, an actor, was “going anywhere.” Times Translation: The guy is an actor, has no substance and he’s an extremist to boot. Get serious.

• Why was Reagan a joke? First, said the Times, there was that televised Goldwater speech in October, 1964. Times Translation: We have Reagan on film saying wacko things — on television for God’s sake — that are (in the paper’s words) “a brisk denunciation of the welfare state and Communist appeasement.” The Times used this quote from his Goldwater speech, in which Reagan urged standing up to Soviet Communists, to illustrate just how nutty an out-of-the-mainstream extremist Reagan was:

“Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world?”

Crazy guy, that Reagan! In fact, the Times and the foreign policy Establishment not only believed private citizen Reagan was crazy to believe things like this in 1965 — the paper and the Establishment it so portentously symbolized still believed it in 1985, even as President Reagan was busy bringing the Soviet Union crashing to the ground and ending the Cold War. Who looks crazy now?

• Reagan had participated in an unsuccessful “conservative” (the paper’s description) anti-Establishment effort to defeat California’s Republican liberal U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel in 1962. Kuchel was an Establishment icon, a RINO (Republican in Name Only) then serving as the Senate Republican Whip. Times Translation: Reagan is so far outside the mainstream of not just the California electorate but of the California Republican Party itself he couldn’t possibly be nominated let alone get elected. Hanging out with right-wing extremists who thought they could dump Tom Kuchel shows just how politically stupid Reagan is. Tom Kuchel is One of Us. Reagan, clearly, is not. The guy is an idiot. Case closed.

• By 1965 Reagan has made the same speech he made on television for Goldwater to hundreds of different groups in person. For years. Yet the Times noted but two, both serving as the Establishment boogeyman designed to scare voters. The first was Dr. Fred Schwarz’s Christian Anti-Communist Crusade. The second was a campaign appearance for former California Congressman John Rousselot, pointedly identified by the Times as “now a leader in the John Birch Society.” Times Translation: Reagan actually speaks to groups that are infamous for far right-wing extremism. Everybody we know realizes these people are dangerous wackos. Reagan says he disagrees with some of their views, but, get this (says the Times): “He does not, however, see anything subversive” about the two groups. Amazing. What an ignorant man. Everybody we know in Our Crowd realizes the Birch Society is plotting to overthrow the government. Boo! Reagan is not just a fool — he’s a scary fool.

• “Republican organization sources” in California say there are too many “obstacles” for Reagan to win a GOP primary, says the Times. What are they? He hasn’t been a longtime party activist, has no organized base of support, and, “the Goldwater wing’s influence” in the California Republican Party has “greatly diminished.” Times Translation: The nuts are still out there and Reagan is one of them. No one of any seriousness in the party Establishment takes him or them seriously.

A week had not gone by since the reporting of this story containing the above nuggets when the Times was breathlessly reporting another: that “the right-wing” in California had chartered a new group devoted to — can you believe it?!! — individual liberty and the Constitution!!! It was formed by a group of far-right millionaires and — gasp! — Ronald Reagan! The mere presence of the new group, said the Times, was offending GOP moderates and emphasizing again what a loser Reagan was.

One week after that, the Times was back. This time reporting that the “right wing” had frighteningly tightened its grip on California’s youth — which is to say the state’s Young Republicans. Many of the delegates to the state YR convention were for Reagan. Particularly galling to the Establishment was a resolution that criticized then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, a liberal icon. Why? Warren had served as Attorney General and Governor of California during World War II and it was he who had enthusiastically supported packing up Japanese-Americans who were California residents and sending them to internment camps.

This resulted in the famously racist Korematsu v. United States decision that was a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment, as many legal scholars have now repeatedly pointed out. Warren had not only never apologized for his actions, as Alfred Regnery reminded in Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism, Warren had blithely “opposed internment for Germans and Italians, because ‘they were no different from anybody else.'” The YR’s, zeroing in on the liberal racism of the matter, had pounced. Times Translation: The cheeky young conservatives supporting Reagan had the nerve to demand an apology from a liberal idol of the day for abject racism and a violation of the constitutional rights of people who were nothing more or less than American citizens. And Reagan is supported by these people? The nerve.

Now it was becoming a pattern with the Times. Looking back at the succession of Reagan stories in early 1965, the word “obsessive” comes to mind. The Times is writing constantly, after all, about a man who hasn’t yet declared himself a candidate for anything and holds no office whatsoever.

Barely another week went by when the news was in that a California poll showed Ronald Reagan was a “poor choice” for Republicans because, unlike the Establishment choice, the Republican ex-Mayor of San Francisco, Reagan would “antagonize” too many voters with his conservative beliefs. A week later, another poll showed the moderate ex-Mayor, George Christopher, could beat the liberal Establishment Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown (father of today’s Jerry Brown) while Reagan was a sure loser by almost ten points. Times Translation: If California Republicans are crazy enough to nominate this loon he will lose — big time.

And so it went. One story followed another. “Reagan Upsets Unity” of California Republicans, headlined another one, citing a lack of “palatability” and Reagan’s willingness to address the conservative California Republican Assembly, whose meeting had been opened by a Bircher. This was soon followed by a story reporting that moderate Establishment Republicans were becoming “alarmed” at Reagan’s popularity in straw polls. Reagan is identified in this story as a “representative of the ultra-conservative wing” and a “successful money-raiser” for Goldwater. Times Translation: These nuts have money and could actually nominate Reagan. OMG! What if…like…he actually wins???!!!!

The Establishment narrative about Ronald Reagan — and the growing conservative movement — had begun. Actually, it has been laid foundationally with Goldwater, but with Reagan’s arrival it was set in concrete. It would follow Reagan for the rest of his life. And conservatives like Sharron Angle until this day. A life for Reagan which included two landslide elections as governor of California (he would beat Jerry Brown’s incumbent governor-father Pat by almost a million votes) and two more as president. Beating the Establishment every single time except with his fight against President Gerald Ford for the 1976 GOP nomination — which he lost by a whisker. Over the years the Establishment was represented by both Democrats and Republicans, a list that included Pat Brown, California Democratic Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh, Ford, George H.W. Bush, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, John Connally, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

The anti-Reagan Establishment narrative, always illustrated by personal or policy anecdotes that were said to show Reagan and his followers were some combination of dumb, ignorant, stupid, racist, bigoted, anti-woman war mongers, is by now a standard. So too is the use of a boogeyman, a supposedly scary group designed to scare the pants off prospective voters. This tactic is to the Establishment what marching onto the battlefield in formation was to the British when they fought the colonists at Concord and Lexington in 1775. Which is to say: it is a narrative designed as a weapon of psychological intimidation. (Famously, the un-awed colonists had their own tactic. They fought back from behind the trees and rocks of their home turf and sent the dumbfounded British scurrying back to Boston in a humiliating defeat for the ruling Establishment of the day. It would not be the last time, either.)

This scare-tactic of yelling “Right wing! Right wing!” was brandished by one “Establishment’ after another as they battled Reagan over the years, the only consistent accuracy in every battle turning out to be that Ronald Reagan was indeed decidedly not a member of whatever Establishment he had taken on. In fact, Reagan was busily building a new “anti-establishment Establishment” that from the earliest days of his nascent campaign for Governor of California to this moment has managed to become a major expanding force inside not just the Republican Party but in the modern anti-Establishment Virtual Newsroom that is talk radio, Fox News and the Internet. The Tea Party is the very epitome of a Reagan anti-establishment movement.

Of all the invective hurled in the direction of the current anti-Establishment by the Establishment candidates and media organs, there is little that wasn’t thrown at Reagan during his career.

It is thus no surprise that as conservatives come to prominence they are assailed just as Reagan was, sometimes in eerily almost the same words.

LET’S STICK WITH THE CASE of Nevada’s Sharron Angle, who won a fiercely contested three-way fight to face Senate Majority Leader and uber-Establishment leader Harry Reid.

Angle, with the predictability of heat in a Nevada desert, is being assailed by the Establishment as “essentially, crazy” (Huffington Post). Why? She has a “rigid ideology” and supports “phasing out Social Security and dismantling the Education Department.” All three accusations were used against Reagan to portray him as a crazed, heartless, well-out-of-the-mainstream ultra-conservative far-right-wing ideologue, who, don’t you know, was also a nut. Angle’s position on getting rid of the Department of Education was, by the way, part of the 1980 Reagan platform, a vow that failed but did nothing to deter his landslide victory over Carter. The idea has certainly been in the mainstream debate over education for 30 — say again 30 –years. Yet like clockwork, Reid’s Nevada Democratic Party gushed out a press release in the style of Reagan opponents from Pat Brown to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale calling Angle “wacky.”

“Why would you give away the Senate majority leader who has delivered time and time again?” Bill Clinton recently asked Nevadans, defending the Establishment and Harry Reid in the same terms LBJ allies and the liberal media used to defend the California Establishment and Pat Brown in 1966 against Reagan. Where Brown derided Reagan as “the crown prince of the extreme right” and the New York Times called Brown’s liberal Establishment record “truly remarkable” Clinton, sounding almost as Pat Brown-esque as Pat Brown himself, defended the Establishment by deriding Angle as too extreme.

And on cue, just as it did when Ronald Reagan began to emerge 45 years ago — say again, 45 years ago! — the unchanging narrative of the Establishment New York Times is at it still, describing Sharron Angle in a recent story as “firmly to the right of most mainstream Nevada voters.”

Reaching back to their original anti-Reagan playbook, just as the Times of 1965 found Establishment Republicans to say Reagan was un-electable because he was too far right, so now they have found a Nevada Establishment Republican to step forward and play the role California Establishment Republicans played in 1965.

“I would say there are a lot of Republicans who will find it difficult to support Sharron Angle,” said State Senator William J. Raggio, a Republican who has served in the Legislature since 1972. “Abolishing the Department of Education, phasing out Social Security, those are pretty extreme positions. I think any incumbent is vulnerable, but you have to have somebody that is also acceptable if you’re going to win.”

If one is part of today’s Nevada Republican political Establishment, quite apparently, as Mr. Raggio demonstrates, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Clearly, Raggio was not a fan of Ronald Reagan — or has absolutely no idea what Reagan said that resonated with so many millions of Americans. And if memory serves, running on a platform in 1980 holding positions on Social Security and the Department of Education almost identical to Sharron Angle — Ronald Reagan won Nevada with over 62% of the vote.

And just as the John Birch Society was used as an Establishment boogeyman to scare voters about Reagan, so now is Scientology being used to try and scare Nevada voters about Angle. The Establishment loves the boogeyman, and there is always one to be had.

The problem?

The American people, their nation born out of rebellion against The Establishment of the day, has never been fond of those who believe they are born to rule. And they don’t get scared of the boogeyman of the moment. Rebelling against the Establishment that was the authority of the Church of England was illegal in 1620. Boo! And so the Pilgrims simply rebelled — by leaving England altogether and coming to America, the boogeyman be damned. Time after time after time ever since, the American spirit of rebellion against the Establishment of the day has eventually always carried the day. The Pilgrims birthed dissident colonies, and the rebellion against the Establishment that was symbolized by King George III birthed a nation. (If you rebel, we will hang you, threatened the King. Boo!) The rebellion went on, the boogeyman answered with a document called the Declaration of Independence. Within that nation, ever since, rebellion against whatever and whomever became the symbol of the Establishment became in itself a treasured American tradition.

By 1965, the new George Washington was a much-derided actor named Ronald Reagan. He was, sneered the Establishment defenders of the time, a too far-right, out-of-the-mainstream crazy to ever be elected too anything.

It was — and is still — the argument of choice made by Establishment defenders today as they attack everyone from the newly emergent Sharron Angle in Nevada to Carly Fiorina in California to Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and, let it not be forgotten, Scott Brown in Massachusetts. And most ferociously of all in the potential candidate class, let us not forget the anti-Establishment favorite Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Every one of these candidates (or prospective candidate in Palin’s case) are the figurative descendants of American anti-establishment figures from William Bradford of the Pilgrims to George Washington and his fellow Founding Fathers, to Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Reagan and, in the media of today, the upstarts at Fox and, but of course, the stars of talk radio beginning with Founding Father Rush to Hannity and Levin and Beck and moving straight on to the Internet and the redoubtable Drudge and Breitbart. Did we mention the late William F. Buckley, and that scourge of the Establishment The American Spectator’s own R. Emmett Tyrrell?

Does anyone honestly look at Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin or Laura Ingraham and think the word “Establishment”?

Of course not.

Which, of course, is why the reaction of The Establishment to all of these people and institutions is the same as they perceive the rise of new faces in Reagan’s anti-establishment Establishment.

They can’t stand Sharron Angle just like they couldn’t stand Ronald Reagan.

Which is exactly why the Establishment supporting Harry Reid is so afraid of her.

And why the woman who, just like Ronald Reagan, couldn’t win — not only won her primary but is ahead in the latest Rasmussen poll, 50%-39%.

What would Reagan say about Sharron Angle’s Establishment critics? You can just see the smile.

“Well, there they go again.”

Reid Runs as Consummate Insider With ‘No One Can Do More’ Message

Shown here is a screen shot of a new ad for Sen. Harry Reid's campaign. (YouTube)

As members of Congress across the country try to distance themselves from Washington by burnishing their “outsider” credentials, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is doing just the opposite — he’s embracing his incumbency as he seeks re-election in Nevada.

After Republicans selected Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle last week to run against Reid, the Senate’s No. 1 Democrat is trying to make the case back home that experience is good, and that his clout in the nation’s capital is what brings jobs and funding to Nevada.

“No one can do more,” is Reid’s new campaign slogan, unveiled in a pair of ads that tout his record securing funding for alternative energy sector jobs.

The strategy is undoubtedly risky in an election year when upstart candidates like Angle are surging on the crest of the Tea Party movement and incumbents are generally trying to downplay their establishment ties.

While Reid, who has served in Congress since 1983, has decided to play to his decades of experience, all Republicans see is a bigger target.

“It’s an interesting strategy to brag about bringing jobs to your state when you have 13.7 percent unemployment,” said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The nationwide unemployment rate is 9.7 percent.

Walsh said he wouldn’t argue with the new slogan.

“No one has done more to increase the role of the federal government or raise taxes on Nevada families,” he said.

The NRSC released a web ad focused on Reid’s experience, only from a different perspective. The ad is called “Harry Reid: Decades of Epic Fail.”

A group called American Crossroads also just released an ad billed as a response to Reid’s “no one can do more” message.

“Harry Reid’s work is paying off all right — paying off for his friends in Washington but leaving Nevada with what?” the narrator says, citing the state’s high unemployment rate.

The narratives are being set as the general election gets under way following a close Republican primary. Angle, a former state assemblywoman, came away the winner in that race on Tuesday after trailing her opponents for months.

Reid and Democratic strategists immediately set about to casting Angle as a “wacky” fringe candidate.

A Reid ad slams Angle for supporting a phasing-out of Medicare and Social Security and for pushing a drug treatment program for inmates based on Scientology.

“It’s this season’s hottest new trend: Republicans nominating candidates so far to the right, they’re practically falling off the map,” Reid’s campaign said on its blog after Angle won.

Reid’s campaign on Monday dismissed the GOP criticism aimed at the “no one can do more” message. Spokesman Kelly Steele said Reid has created thousands of jobs by bringing clean-energy firms to the state and secured millions of dollars to help residents stay in their homes, suggesting that’s more than Angle can say.

“This is nothing more than Republicans attempting to change the subject from the dangerous, extreme agenda of their accidental candidate, Sharron Angle — who wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, pull the U.S. out of the U.N., give massages to prisoners, and deregulate Wall Street and the big oil companies responsible for the crisis in the Gulf. By contrast, Sen. Reid delivers meaningful results for Nevada families every day,” he said in a statement.

Though Democrats claimed to be delighted at Angle’s win, a Rasmussen survey taken one day after the primary showed her leading Reid 50-39 percent.

Angle, in an interview Monday with Fox News, said “mainstream Americans” are questioning Reid, and she used harsh words to assail the very record Reid is touting.

“The problem is Harry Reid. He’s had 24 years to do something for Americans, and he hasn’t done it,” she said. “In fact he has pretty much waterboarded our economy for the last year and a half.”

She said the state’s high rate of unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy stand as a testament to Reid’s ineffectiveness.

“Harry Reid has truly failed and we’re saying, ‘Harry Reid, you’re fired,'” she said. Angle disputed the claim that she wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, saying she wants to “personalize” them.

Reid, his $9 million campaign war chest and his high-profile supporters see things differently. A stump speech last week by former President Bill Clinton showed that Reid’s campaign would be rejecting the argument that years in Washington make politicians go stale.

“Why would you give away the Senate majority leader who has delivered time and time again?” Clinton said at the rally Thursday night.

With Tea Party Support , Angle Scores in Nevada GOP Senate Primary

May 18: Sharron Angle, a Republican Senate candidate endorsed by the Tea Party Express, holds a meet and greet at a home in Pahrump, Nev. The tea party conservative is testing the limits of anti-government sentiment, she's also the Republican on the rise in an unpredictable race to pick an opponent for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a top Democrat in Washington in trouble at home (AP).

Fox News

The Tea Party movement flexed its muscle Tuesday, powering former Nevada state lawmaker Sharron Angle to victory in the state’s Republican U.S. Senate primary and launching her into a high-stakes November showdown against Democrat Harry Reid, the vulnerable Senate majority leader.

With 59 of precincts reporting, Angle won 39 percent of the vote. Her Republican challengers, former state lawmaker Sue Lowden and real estate owner Danny Tarkanian, secured 28 and 23 percent of the vote, respectively.

“We have completed the first step to taking back our U.S. senate seat,” Angle told supported, stressing the word “our.” “We need to say to Harry Reid, you have failed and you are fired.”

The three Republican candidates had competed for backing of the anti-incumbent Tea Party movement to give their candidacies a boost in Nevada, where Reid’s approval rating has plummeted to 35 percent, according to a recent poll.

The Tea Party Express, one of the most visible factions of the grassroots conservative movement, officially endorsed Angle on April 15. The group, sponsored by the California-based Our Country Deserves Better PAC, has so far spent $550,000 promoting Angle’s candidacy — catapulting her approval rating from a mere 5 percent in early April to double digits.

“Sharron Angle earned our endorsement because she embodies the tea party message of financial sanity and empowering small and local businesses to thrive,” Levi Russell, communications director for the Tea Party Express, told FoxNews.com. “We believe there is no question that the people of Nevada and of the entire nation will rally behind her and help send Harry back home to Searchlight.”

Angle, known as a conservative renegade in Carson City, wants to phase out Social Security for younger workers, dissolve the Education Department and repeal the 16th Amendment that established the federal income tax.

“I am the Tea Party,” she says.

Tarkanian, a real estate developer whose father is a well-known former college basketball coach, also had support from a Tea Party group, Tennessee-based Tea Party Nation. Tarkanian has scoffed at Angle’s Tea Party Express endorsement, saying it did not represent the anti-establishment and constitutionalist movement.

“It’s not the Tea Party,” Tarkanian told Fox News, describing the Tea Party Express as a “California-based consulting group that gets paid to run TV commercials.”

Lowden, a former Nevada state senator and casino owner, began her campaign leading in the three-way race. But comments made by Lowden at an April 6 town hall meeting in Mesquite, Nev., in which she advocated a barter system for medical care, likely damaged her candidacy.

Reid, meanwhile, easily overpowered a field of little-known Democratic challengers Tuesday to win the party’s nomination for a fifth, six-year term.

Polls suggest Angle may face a tough battle against Reid. A Mason Dixon poll, conducted for the Las Vegas-Review Journal May 24 to 26, found Angle trailing Reid, 39 to 42 percent. But a later Mason Dixon poll, conducted June 1 to 3, found her beating him, 44 to 41 percent.

In states races, meanwhile, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons was thrown out of office after a tumultuous term that was marred by a bitter divorce and allegations of infidelities.

The first-term Republican lost the GOP primary Tuesday to former federal judge Brian Sandoval. Rory Reid won the Democratic primary, earning a spot at the top of the ballot next to his senator father.

Gibbons is the latest incumbent to be ousted this election year. But his woes had more to do with his own problems than anti-incumbent rage prevalent in other states.

In addition to the divorce and allegations of affairs, Gibbons has led a hard-line drumbeat against taxes and the federal government that alienated even members of his own party. Making matters worse for Gibbons was Nevada’s abysmal economy.

Fox News’ Carl Cameron and Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report