Reid May Intervene in Democratic Presidential Contest

Posted April 24, 2008 at 1:16pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters during a Thursday afternoon press conference that he may send a letter to superdelegates encouraging them to declare their support in the presidential race by July 1.

Reid did not disclose details of what the letter might look like or how soon one could be drafted.

But the idea comes at a time when the Democratic presidential contest between Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is becoming more competitive after Clinton’s win Tuesday in the Pennsylvania primary.

When asked whether he planned to make public his allegiance to either candidate, Reid deflected, saying only that he may try to encourage outstanding superdelegates to choose.

Referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Reid said that “the three of us may do a joint letter” to try to smoke those undecided Democrats out.

Reid has long said he will stay neutral in the contest between his two Senate colleagues, but recently joined the chorus of Democratic elders who are pushing for a resolution to the rivalry by the end of the primary season on June 3.

Reid reiterated that sentiment Thursday, saying: “I’ve said for weeks the matter will be over by June or July 1, and I still believe that’s the case.”

Erin P. Billings contributed to this report.