Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes that if he repeats a campaign slogan enough, it will become true.
"I'm independent, just like Nevada," the Democrat said Monday after making his campaign official by filing his candidacy with the secretary of state. "The people of Nevada know me. I'm not going to change who I am. I'm the same person today that I used to be."
Independent like Nevada. He won election to the Senate in 1986 under that banner, and, in the spirit of all things green, recycled it in 2004, when he faced token opposition in rolling to a fourth term. Today, however, many voters aren't buying.
There's no political independence in standing next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at every photo opportunity, nor in championing the far-left agenda of President Barack Obama. There's no political independence in buying the votes of colleagues with Nevadans' tax dollars, nor in carrying water for the unions that are bankrupting corporations, states and local governments.
The people of Nevada do indeed know Sen. Reid, and he is not the same person he used to be. He is a national figure who works on a national stage. His home is a Ritz-Carlton condo in the nation's capital, not his native Searchlight.
According to a survey conducted for the Review-Journal last month by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, 51 percent of the state's voters have an unfavorable opinion of Sen. Reid, a dreadful figure he hasn't reversed despite spending millions of dollars on ads that tout his Nevada roots and his power in Washington.
But instead of using that power to promote policies that nurture economic growth, Sen. Reid has pushed economy-crushing, debt-building, government-growing, recession-stretching boondoggles that will burden future generations with higher costs, higher taxes and fewer opportunities.
Make no mistake, in the less than eight months before Election Day, Sen. Reid will not be sprinting to the center and chatting with common Nevadans struggling to make ends meet amid 13 percent unemployment.
No, he'll try to resurrect punishing medical insurance regulations that will put America on a path to a nationalized, single-payer health care system, and he'll be rounding up votes for the president's cap-and-trade carbon tax. Making health care and energy more expensive for the middle class.
Independent like Nevada? Good luck, Sen. Reid. You'll need it.