Chalk this up as the second vote on which Michelle Nunn won’t disclose her intentions. After a debate with David Perdue last Friday, reporters asked the Democratic nominee for the open Senate seat from Georgia whether she would vote to retain Harry Reid as Majority Leader. In fact, reporters asked her that twice in the exchange seen below. Nunn refused to give a direct answer, only insisting that the composition of leadership needed to change, but that she’d vote for some unnamed “Democratic leader” without giving a yea or nay on Reid himself:
But the juiciest bit of news may have come shortly after the Georgia Chamber event, when Nunn served notice to her fellow Democrats that she wasn’t a sure vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to keep his job — should her party keep control of that chamber in November.
“I look forward to changing the composition in the leadership of the Senate. The way that we’re going to change Washington is to bring more people to recognize – to have the humility to recognize – that there are good ideas on both sides of the aisle…
“I will vote for the Democratic leader that I think best represents our capacity to get things done and move things forward. …”
Shouldn’t the point of a campaign be to tell voters your position on issues? Nunn ducked questions earlier this year on whether she would have voted for ObamaCare, even when MSNBC’s Joy Reid wanted an answer, but that at least was a retrospective hypothetical. The question of leadership will be an actual vote that the next Senator from Georgia will have to cast. If Nunn’s acting this coy, it shows that she’s not going to be an independent voice at all — otherwise, why not just say, “I won’t vote for Harry Reid”? After all, these are caucus votes, not floor votes, so there won’t be any risk of electing a Republican Majority Leader if there isn’t a Republican majority.
The Washington Post’s Jaime Fuller calls shenanigans on this answer:
However, Nunn’s sidestep away from the Senate majority leader vote is kind of silly. Ok, a lot silly.
First, senate leadership elections are secret, unlike the House Speaker election, for example. So, there’s not going to be any paper trail for Nunn if she did go renegade. Second, and more importantly, if Democrats keep the Senate, there doesn’t seem to be much chance of Reid facing an usurper from within his own ranks in 2015.
And, Nunn and her campaign clearly think that the endless attacks tying her to Reid and Obama may hurt her, given the campaign memo that leaked last month, which revealed the kinds of voters who the candidate’s team is targeting and who need to be reassured that she’s not “too liberal.”
This silly dodge shows that Michelle Nunn wants to hide who she really is from Georgia voters. Even those in the Beltway see how “silly” it is, and don’t think Georgians won’t have figured Nunn out way ahead of those outside the state.