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January 31, 2015

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Letter from Washington:

Harry Reid is right at home in a tough fight


associated press file

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid answers questions after speaking at the Air Force Energy Forum last month in Las Vegas.

Sun Coverage

For weeks, polls have shown Harry Reid the 2010 Senate candidate lodged squarely in the dead heat of a pressure cooker.

But according to his colleagues, Harry Reid the Senate majority leader doesn’t appear to be breaking a sweat.

Reid and his opponent, Sharron Angle, were in a statistical tie for all of September, most of which the senator spent in Washington in the final congressional work period before elections.

But being across the country didn’t mean Reid left everything at home. At times, in fact, it seemed the Senate floor had simply become a satellite battleground for Reid’s state challenge.

Republicans accused Reid of using the Senate to make pitches to his base, when he attempted to attach a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays in the military and a launch of the DREAM Act — a program to put young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military on a path to citizenship — to the defense authorization bill.

The bill failed to muster enough votes to get to the floor — an outcome many Democrats argued was not so much a referendum on the added provisions but a way for Republicans block the majority party from achieving any victories before the elections.

Reid’s counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, put it bluntly:

“It’s a cynical act that appears to be to try to salvage a losing campaign.”

But ask Republicans whether they see an overall change in Reid’s tactical style, and there is quite a difference between the policy and the person.

“I don’t see him being affected,” said Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has been in the Senate through Reid’s career. “Harry’s as steady as always.”

Whatever opinions people hold about him as a candidate and senator, Reid is widely respected in Washington for being an experienced strategist — which has earned his party several victories but is also a root cause of why he is so reviled.

Reid has presided over the Senate in the four years when party discord has been at an all-time high, and cooperation at one of its nadirs. Few controversial measures — and several seemingly noncontroversial ones — move forward without a filibuster. The 111th Congress has set a record for most cloture votes taken in congressional history — and the lame duck portion is yet to come.

Who’s to blame for the acrimony is the $64,000 question — but as the leader of the majority and the controller of the Senate floor calendar, Reid’s an obvious target to take these hits.

But the soft-spoken former boxer — as the president likes to point out — is used to it.

Before his term as majority leader began in 2007, Reid was the Democratic minority leader, a position he took over from his friend Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, after Daschle lost his 2004 re-election bid to Republican John Thune.

Before that, Reid served as Democratic whip — the second-in-command position now occupied by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Perhaps that’s why in Washington — despite the obvious pressures of the campaign — Reid doesn’t appear to be out of his element, even behind closed doors.

“Quite the opposite,” said Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who worked closely with Reid on the defense authorization bill. “He’s been handling everything coolly and confidently, as he always does.”

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  1. That's our Harry.
    Hard working as the day is long, respected, and respectful.
    Sure, you can disagree with his politics.
    But all the hateful nonsense posited by the right is cruel and without merit.
    "Harry Haters" ravage & savage Harry the person, as well as his politics. I can't fathom why. I suppose it's partly because they have been so ineffectual at replacing him with a more "conservative" politician.
    Now the "Harry Haters" would like us to replace him with Sharron Angle.
    Angle's compass spins wildly in circles like she's flying through the Bermuda Triangle...
    Harry's compass is steady as a rock...
    I'll take steady.
    Nevada NEEDS STEADY.
    Our COUNTRY needs steady.
    Not some comedic caricature that can't get through a SINGLE DAY without shooting herself in the foot.

  2. If I hear the phrase "we've got to keep the Bush tax cuts!" one more time, I'm gonna puke...

    "Just let us keep ALL OUR MONEY!!! We'll trickle something down to you; just BE PATIENT!"

    It's a CON GAME...

  3. Harry will be right at home in Searchlight on November 3.

    Harry's compass is as steady as all the special interest money his rakes in from the banks, finance and real estate interests. Did I mention health care as well? Millions. Cha Ching.

    The compass and his interests are all pointed to somewhere other than Nevada and for the benefit of people other than Nevadans.

  4. Power and influence. Senator Reid has a lot of both. Nevada needs money during these tough times and one person in Washington can bring it home.

    Newbee senators (regardless of party) can't bring home a bag of bananas. It was long-standing Harry Reid who secured funding for the new N. Las Vegas VA hospital complex. It cost $600.4/M to build. It will create many good paying jobs for the area. Could a newly elected senator have done that? Negative.

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, Nevada. Re-elect Harry Reid!

  5. Reid is not all bad.

    He strongly pushed for a bill to deny citizenships for babies born from illegals.

    He supported Nevada's ban on gay marriage.

    He voted for DOMA so that Nevada could ignore gay marriages from other states.

    Not once did he push for investigations into Bush adminstration dealings including the so-call illegal and unconstitional activities.

    He did not fight hard against Bush nominations for the Federal court system.

    He did not push hard for the public option.

    He did not push any for single payer.

    Instead of raising taxes on the rich to pay for free health insurance for the children of middle class families, he raised for taxes on low and poor income families.

    He cut a deal with drug companies. They would run TV ads in support of him in exchange he would prevent any bill that allow cheap drug imports.

    They had a filibuster proof majority. They diddle all summer long and produced this watered down version of health care reform.

    He ain't bad. He is a pretty inept Senator Democratic leader. I wonder if he is really a Republican.

  6. We just can't afford the Reids any longer... His compass needs repair because it doesn't point to Nevada and you and I are paying dearly!

  7. I don't buy all these ultra right wing comments.

    I guess that if I were to develop a brain disease, I'm supposed to overnight hate Senator Reid. And I'm supposed to do that not because there are any compelling reasons why I should hate him, but because people are telling me I should overlook everything good he has done not only for Nevada, but the nation as well.

    And I'm supposed to hate him because with him there in the Senate, Nevada has power that he abuses, when in actually everything shows he wields it to our best interests.

    And I'm supposed to hate him because he helped turn the faucet off on southern Nevada receiving and storing millions of tons of nuclear waste at Yucca.

    And I'm also supposed to hate him because he has done a lot to help senior citizens and veterans.

    And I'm supposed to hate him'm supposed to hate him because people who have a political agenda all want me to do that...even if I don't believe in their malarkey!

    Can't fly this crap past me.

    My vote goes for Senator Reid in November. I prefer sanity.

    Because the other option provides hopelessness, despair and a fall back to the failed Republican Party broken promises from before. And it is a lock Sharron Angle will take us to a scary place we don't want to go to. Not to mention that with her in power, that will make Nevada a laughing stock. Not only amongst Democrats, but Republicans also. Because Sharron Angle is a lightweight, morally impaired with views shared by only a select few, and not one problem solving bone in her body. She prides herself in her ability to cause problems with absolutely no solutions to them and her ability to talk an issue to death, but solve nothing. She will do nothing but embarass us by participating in voting no...and I remind everyone that we already have a useless Senator (Ensign) that does that...and if she is elected into power...she will follow his stupidity to the letter.

    Sharron Angle needs to go away in November. Never to show up on the political stage ever again. Well... Wait. She can show up on Fox News as a commentator or something. That would be okay. Because she would be easier to ignore. I never watch that crap...

  8. If Harry is voted out you'll get Chuck Schumer, tougher and meaner.

    Even mANN Coulter say the Repubs won't take the Senate.

  9. Harry Reid in a nice suit. Sharron Angle in a conservative dress. This is what some voters vote on, including my wife. She voted for Obama last-time because she believed his B.S. Now, a bit too late, she realizes her error. That's the way liberals are---they don't know what the hell they're doing until it's too late.

  10. To cover all the liberals who comment on this page, we conservatives must be vigilant. WE WILL BE VIGILANT! You socialists are not American, and you are GOING DOWN! The "Tea Party" is not a political party. It is a grassroots movement of "WE THE PEOPLE" to take our government back from you liberals.--------------And, by the way, we will also rescue you liberals' asses, too.

  11. Why is it that the state of Nevada has two crazies running for senate? Could we just find someone else? I for one will go for No One as both of these have serious issues and faults and so much more.
    Harry Reid - Devalued Homes, massive unemployment, failure in 30 years to diversify the economy, crazy obama health plan with nothing good in it (except for the hard to enforce "preexisting conditions clause). His opponent has gotten a rough ride in the press - so its hard to know.

    Vote for No One. Return Harry to Searchlight. No more of this senile senator from Searchlight.

  12. The reason Harry is so cool and condescending is that he thinks he is far above us average citizens. He thinks he is so deserving of his job when, in fact. he needs to be booted out. Perhaps us "lowly citizens" will go to the polling places and hand him his well-deserved pink slip in November.

  13. Ensign can't help, moogie.

    He's too mired in personal problems to do anything. And it seems like he's content to let Senator Reid take the flack for everything.

    Most of his time and money is spent with lawyers trying to fight an ethics violations investigation. Not to mention possibly pending felony corruption charges.

    The only thing he does is duck the press.

    And vote no. On EVERYTHING. His voting record in the past two years is absolutely horrible. It is so bad, and clearly does not reflect the wishes of constituents here in Nevada, people here are starting to believe he's a north Korean spy.

    But that's okay.

    After Angle gets vaporized by Senator Reid in November, Ensign is the next one in our sights to boot out on his fanny perpendicular.

    We still got work to do.