Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s recent retirement announcement has certainly created waves in the upcoming 2016 elections, but it has also created a rift in the Senate Democrat caucus.
Reid’s departure marks the first time the post has come up for grabs in ten years, which is already creating a domino effect as his fellow senators begin to jockey for position and power.
An immediate rift between two of Reid’s top lieutenants broke in the media over conflicting reports about whom would succeed him. And the saga further helps to take pressure off the internal struggles within the Republican caucus.
Sens. Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer battled vicariously through statements from staff members this week about whether they had brokered a deal that would make Schumer the next Democrat Leader.
Durbin, who currently serves as the Democrat Senate Whip, may also be challenged in his post by Sen. Murray, who is fourth in line for leadership of the caucus. The movement comes despite that Reid has already endorsed Schumer to succeed him.
With the 2016 election battle for control of the Senate already in motion, whether Senate Democrats can afford to fight a war with Republicans and with themselves could ultimately determine the outcome for full control of Congress.