Leading GOP figure endorses Reid

Reid picked up an endorsement last week that may make even Democrats think twice about supporting the senator. Sig Rogich of Las Vegas, an influential Republican political consultant, gave his support to Reid on the grounds that the state can’t afford to lose the power of the senator’s party post of majority leader.

Rogich is best known for helping make television commercials for the presidential campaign of the first George Bush, a campaign described by Newsweek as the political equivalent of toxic waste dumping. Rogich worked on commercials that used a prison revolving door to portray Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’ supposed prison policies, as well as another TV spot showing Dukakis riding in a tank while a narrative deplores his alleged defense stands. Another Rogich spot used the 1941 Victor Schertzinger/Johnny Mercer song “I Remember You” over footage of scenes of the Carter years (gas lines, etc.) in an effort to link Dukakis to the unpopular Carter.

Rogich was also the author of Nevada’s term limits ballot measures and advised boxer Mike Tyson on improving his image. He supported the second George Bush’s presidential candidacy and is an adviser to Gov. Jim Gibbons. (He was at Gibbons’ side during the disputed Las Vegas encounter with a cocktail waitress a few days before Gibbons was elected governor.) He served as ambassador to Iceland, his native land, for a few weeks in 1992.

Rogich said in a television interview last week, “Nevada needs to understand at this perilous time in our state’s history, why would you ever think about getting rid of the majority leader of the U.S. Senate?”

Since 1950, three of the seven Democrats preceding Reid who have served as majority leader have been defeated for reelection, most recently Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who was targeted by the Republican Party—as Reid expects to be.