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Reid in ‘No Rush’ to Name DSCC Chairman

Bill Clark/Roll Call

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that he will not announce his pick for chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee until after Thanksgiving.

The Nevada Democrat said he was making “progress” but wouldn’t be ready to name the Senator responsible for helping 23 fellow Democrats win re-election in 2012 for at least a week and a half.

“We’re in no rush to do that. But I think I’m in pretty good shape; the announcement will come probably the week after [Thanksgiving],” Reid said.

Reid has spent the weeks following the Nov. 2 midterm elections reaching out to junior Members of the caucus, but so far all have rebuffed him. It seems as if no one wants to take on the task of trying to make sure that 43 percent of the Democratic Conference wins re-election, particularly after the bruising 2010 cycle.

Some of those whom Reid has asked include Sens. Al Franken (Minn.), Mark Warner (Va.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.). Whitehouse is up for re-election in 2012, but he has been regarded as potentially the safest Democrat in the cycle.

Reid also asked Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer to take on the committee for a third time, but the New York lawmaker declined. Subsequently, Reid carved out a powerful new role for him as chairman of a revamped Democratic Policy Committee that will be in charge of coordinating the caucus’ message and policy strategies.

One Senate Democratic aide cautioned that Senators who have demurred may yet be persuaded to take the job. After all, current DSCC Chairman Bob Menendez was asked three times before he finally agreed to take the gig.

The New Jersey lawmaker said Thursday that he has “no idea” who his successor will be. However, as a Senator up for re-election in 2012, Menendez joked, “I hope he gets someone soon, I’ll tell you that much.”

David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

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