If the Democrats do hold the senate, but Reid loses his bid for reelection, there will be a new leader of the Democrats. While anyone new would likely mean a PR improvement for the Democrats, the two likely contenders are Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Chuck Shumer of New York.
According to Chris Smith of the New York magazine, both men have begun the maneuvering, albeit subtly. But if he gets it, Shumer, who is, if anything, a tough player, will have a very different style than the meek Harry Reid. If Obama is in the mood for compromising even further, he may find that Shumer has a more realistic read on his Republican colleagues, who have no intention of cooperating.
While we can almost count on gridlock for the next two years, Shumer would lend some spice to the family feud we now call the U.S. government. Durbin, on the other hand, will likely be even more accommodating than Reid has been, and he will certainly do what ever his fellow Illinoisan, Obama, asks of him.