Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid "has been making statements that appear to benefit" Hillary Clinton, "despite saying he's neutral" in the WH Dem race.
Reid "has not come out against the superdelegates voting to overturn the candidate with more pledged delegates, Clinton's best path" to the nod. "Reid is also less concerned about the primary dragging on into June."
On NPR last week, Reid: "I think superdelegates have the opportunity, the ability and the right to vote for whoever they want, and I think that's what they should do."
"Some have speculated that Reid would stand to lose some influence should" Barack Obama win, "given that fellow Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is a close Obama ally and the chamber's No. 2" Dem leader.
But Reid spokesperson Jon Summers "stressed that his boss is completely neutral in the race, a position the senator has maintained since winning [DNC] support for moving" NV's caucuses up to Jan. "Aides said in no way should Reid's statements suggest he is sending signals of support to Clinton."
"Reid's actions run counter" to those of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), "who also professes to be neutral in the race but said superdelegates ... should not overturn the will of voters" (Raju, The Hill, 5/5).
USA Today's Kiely reports, "Once the last primary ballots are cast" 6/3, Reid said Clinton and Obama "will have 'days, not weeks' to make their case" to superdelegates.
"Reid said he intends to be the last of the party's leaders to declare a preference" in the race, "but he doesn't believe he'll be waiting much longer." Reid: "I think it will end pretty soon [after 6/3]" (5/6).
This article appears in the May 6, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.