The Corner

Re: Harry Reid

Harry Reid needs to be a lot more careful when he talks about Iraq. You never want to be so sloppy in your assertions that you open yourself up to a rebuttal like that unleashed by the Vice President today. In thirty seconds Cheney made Reid look like he forgets his talking points when the cameras are on and starts spouting n’importe quoi. Then — as is now his habit — the Senator’s subsequent remedial measures only made matters worse — for him.

Iraq is a losing issue for Republicans. But if Harry Reid doesn’t get a much better grip on political communications, he is going to turn it into a loser for the Democrats as well. And remember, that is exactly how John Kerry gifted the Republicans an election they could not have won without his abundant help.

The Democrats have a big opportunity here. They could take everything in ‘08 — but on Iraq, they need to thread a needle if they want to devise a winning communications strategy. The communications problem they face is a serious one. And to manage it, the Democrats may need someone a little more guileful — and a lot more thoughtful — than Harry Reid.

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former foreign-policy adviser at the Pentagon and in the U.S. Senate, is a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

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