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Does Reid's "Tepid" Performance Give Angle Upper Hand?


Thursday's one-and-only debate between Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle was got less-than-glowing reviews from most political pundits and analysts. The question now turns to what impact, if any, it will have on the tight and nasty Nevada Senate race.

On Friday's Washington Unplugged, Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris told CBS News' John Dickerson that, in his opinion, the debate was a draw.

"You had two candidates who seemed determined not to make big mistakes. It made kind of a stilted performance," Harris said. "I didn't find any of the candidates that impressive but I am struck that it was a pretty tepid performance by Reid when what he really needs is to figure out a way to put Angle away."

Harris added: "He clearly didn't do that with that performance and so a candidate that people said is too extreme to win actually seems in pretty good position." He said Angle has "even odds" of winning the race.

The notable sound bite from the debate came from Angle when she told Reid he needed to "man up" when it came to Social Security. Harris told Dickerson this phrase has been used throughout this year's midterm cycle.

"This seems to be the new catch phrase of 2010," he said. "Robin Carnahan also used that against her opponent Roy Blunt in yesterday in Missouri, telling him to man up."

Another example he cited was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. "It was a year ago now Governor Christie of New Jersey, I think had first used that. He said when people were questioning his size, he said, "Man up and say I'm fat."

Watch Friday's Washington Unplugged also featuring CBS News senior political producers Rob Hendin and Jill Jackson with "Hot Ads of the Week" and The Nation's Ari Berman "Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics." Special Report: Campaign 2010
Missouri Senate Election 2010: Roy Blunt (R) vs. Robin Carnahan (D)
"Washington Unplugged,"'s exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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