8. Harry Reid « The Washington Independent
If things had gone smoothly for Democrats this year, the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada wouldn’t have made this list. But the Democratic caucus devolved into a civil war of sorts over health care reform legislation, and the blame for the intraparty conflict has fallen squarely on Reid. He faced attacks on health care from the left (by Howard Dean, for example) as well as from moderates who found fault with the legislation. The passage of the Senate health bill on Thursday marks a huge victory for Reid, but comparisons to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who passed a more progressive health bill with less feuding, are not flattering for Reid. Amid the health care slog, Reid was forced to put off other pressing Senate business until 2010. And outside of Washington, things are no better for the senator. He faces a potentially difficult reelection race, though the GOP thus far has failed to produce a top-tier challenger.