Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has taken her party's rout at the polls to heart, announcing that she will not support Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as Senate minority leader.
“Yesterday, I met with Harry Reid and told him I would not be supporting him for Minority Leader," McCaskill said in a Thursday statement. "I heard the voters of Missouri loud and clear. They want change in Washington. Common sense tells me that begins with changes in leadership.”
The moderate Democrat isn't up for re-election until 2018, so her public repudiation of Reid's leadership took many observers by surprise. Other red state Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, for example, sounded more measured when asked about who they would support in Thursday's Senate leadership elections.
The main gripe with Reid appears to be his tight management of the amendment process, which, by way of limiting unfavorable Republican measures, had also stymied some Democratic efforts. But McCaskill wasn't always sour to Reid's strategy.
“It's not like we're fighting Senator Reid,” she told the Washington Examiner earlier this summer. “He is trying to make the best of a very difficult situation.”
Reid is expected to be elected minority leader in Thursday's election. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the current minority leader, was unanimously elected the new Senate majority leader Thursday by his Republican colleagues.