Politics & Policy

Nevada’s Unforgettable Senate Forum


The forgettable story beyond the unforgettable boisterousness and violence at Thursday’s senate forum is that both candidates walked out familiar campaign talking points and neither committed a major gaffe.

Harry Reid insisted in a pre-taped interview that he has saved and created jobs and will work hard to create more. He emphasized his efforts to build job-creating renewable energy infrastructure in the state, using hot button eco-words like “green energy” and “smart grid.”

Reid also said Nevada “cannot run from the fact that our number one industry is tourism.” He talked optimistically about the high occupancy rate at hotel casinos in Las Vegas while acknowledging that tourists, though still coming, are not spending as much money as the state would like.

At one point Reid called himself “the most powerful person Nevada has ever had” as he justified why he should serve another term. In his closing remarks, he enlisted a previously used sports and coaching analogy to slam Sharron Angle and drive home the point, saying, “You don’t take someone out of the game unless you have someone better.”

Angle smilingly took her seat on the stage as the crowd rose to its feet, and–once the cheers and jeers died down and everyone again sat down–opened her remarks with warm thanks. In what seemed to be a throwback to her schoolteacher days, she then turned to the audience and said, “I’m so proud of you being here and wanting to learn.”

As she answered the moderator’s questions, Angle promised to try to cut the size of government along with marginal tax rates and to reduce regulation and incentivize businesses to create jobs. She mentioned the clean coal-fired energy plants in Ely and clean nuclear energy as two examples of job centers that could be helped by her policies.

As Angle spoke, the audience often upstaged her–with boos and jeers, or claps and cheers–often so loudly she could not be heard for a moment or paused nervously to gather her thoughts. 

Angle enthusiastically said our health care system “the best in the world” and reform is not an issue of better care but of lower costs. Her comments on health care drew negative reactions from members of the audience:



In one of the more shocking moments of the forum, some in the crowd laughed mockingly as Angle explained her choice to homeschool and her desire to improve education with a story about her 6-year old son failing kindergarten:


As is apparent, the crowd forgot their manners and polite requests for order went unheeded.


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