Sharron Angle, it turns out, is not only facing Harry Reid in the Nevada Senate race. There is also another Tea Party candidate, Scott Ashjian, who is getting a small slice of voters according to polls. As the Angle-Reid race is tight, even a few votes for Mr. Ashjian could hurt her chances.
So, it made perfect sense for her to try and cajole Mr. Ashjian to abandon the race. But, what does not make sense it be recorded promising him access to Washington Big Wigs in exchange for leaving the race. This is what Ms. Angle did. It is obvious that Mr. Ashjian was the source of the tape, which means he is definitely not departing the race. And the incident further damages Angle's reputation as a different kind of politician. In fact, I suspect the entire episode will have the effect of making some Tea Partyers looks anew at mr. Ashjian's candidacy and perhaps he will pull another 1 or 2 percent of the vote.
One of my caveats about the strength of the Tea Party has been to warn that political neo-phytes are prone to make rookie mistakes. And Angle has a month to go.
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