Less than 12 hours after revealing his much-anticipated Supreme Court pick, President Barack Obama was at a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, likening Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s life story to Reid’s.
In introducing Sotomayor to the American people, Obama has focused heavily on her rise from the public housing projects of the Bronx, and on Tuesday night, he drew parallels between Sotomayor’s struggles and Reid’s path to Congress from the small town of Searchlight, Nev.
“Sonia Sotomayor’s life is proof that all things are possible,— Obama said at the event at Caesar’s Palace, which raised money for Reid’s 2010 re-election bid. “And I know that because Harry has just as improbable a story. … And that’s what politics should be about: remembering, remembering that, for a whole lot of folks, life isn’t easy.—
The fundraiser is the latest effort by the administration to aide Obama’s top Senate lieutenant ahead of the 2010 elections.
Reid has been plagued by poor polling numbers in recent months, and Republicans continue to see him as a top target in 2010. The GOP has yet to unveil a top-tier challenger in Nevada, but party leaders, including National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), continue to talk openly about knocking off the Majority Leader next year.
The Obama administration has tried to shore up Reid with high-profile visits by administration officials and by submitting a budget that zeros out funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project — a decades-long effort by the federal government to store nuclear waste in Nevada that was was unpopular with a majority of the state’s residents.
“Harry is somebody who has consistently fought on those issues that matter not just to Democrats but to middle-class families all across America: good jobs, affordable health care, clean energy, world-class schools,— Obama said Tuesday night. “And that’s why we need to keep Harry Reid exactly where he belongs: as the leader of the U.S. Senate, as somebody who carries the voices and the values of Searchlight and Nevada — all the small towns across America that have been forgotten for so long. He gives voice to forgotten people in Washington, D.C.—