Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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Reid revving up for tonight’s speech

Sun Expanded Coverage

(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters have been examining the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drove to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover. This week they are at the Democratic National Convention.)

DENVER — Soft-spoken Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s shop is abuzz about the wallop he is expected to deliver tonight during his prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Reid will talk about energy and national security and his spokesman says will “take McCain and Bush to task” for their energy policies.

Reid stopped by the Nevada delegation breakfast this morning where he hosted wind-man T. Boone Pickens, Democratic Whip Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and an energy adviser to Sen. Barack Obama.

Probably the best part of the event was the big silence.

After his comments to the group, Reid just looked out quietly over the few dozen party activists eating their muffins and fruit -- the party he has helped bolster to the strongest it has been in decades. (Nevada now has more 61,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans -- a world away from 1992 when Reid said the party was trying to boost its ranks by signing up the homeless.)

Unsure, perhaps what to do, the Nevadans gave Reid a second round of applause. But still he stood there.

Awkward silence for some, but just Reid doing his thing.

A few minutes later Durbin arrived, and everyone could exhale as he began his speech.

In a quick interview on his way out, Reid extended the hype for tonight’s prime-time performance:

“I think you’ll know I was there,” he said.

Reid also said his low-key approach to this convention, as I wrote about in yesterday's Sun, shouldn't come as any surprise.

"I have a low profile every place I go," he said.

But is this the new Reid, as I mentioned in yesterday's piece, the one who is beginning to recede a bit from the national stage and focus on his 2010 re-election in Nevada? Reid told another reporter he is not even focused on re-elect now. Then he told me: "I'm going to continue being who I am."

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