Friday, March 27, 2015

Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid Will Not Seek Re-election

As a former Nevadan, I have a love-hate relationship with Harry Reid. No, wait, that really isn't right. Harry doesn't ever really inspire hatred in me, only frustration. He's famously milquetoasty, and can come off as weak and whiny. If you follow him at all, you know he's quite capable of being fiercely defiant, steadfast and resolute when he needs to be, but always with his quiet, Mormon demeanor. At his angriest, Harry is like a really annoyed schnauzer or something, he could bite and do damage, but he's not particularly scary about it.

There have been times in the past, where he pulled a maneuver that had me standing up and cheering, "THAT'S my senator!" and as many or more times when I was annoyed that he let the likes of Mitch McConnell steamroller him. Worse, Harry is a true old-guard member of Congress, who respects the traditions and history and storied past of both chambers. He has a romantic notion of what the Senate was, what it could/should have been, often to the detriment of the reality of the situation. He's never been the villain that Right Wing World tries to make him out to be, and I think Rush Limbaugh's nickname for him--"Dingy Harry"--belies that notion. He was a wax-coated, non-venomous thorn in their sides, that's all.

I don't blame him for retiring. His last election was terribly bruising, and he came a hair's breath from losing to a supreme nutjob named Sharron Angle. In recent years, the bruising has been quite literal, up to and including a gym accident that broke bones in his face, and threatened his vision. I'd quit too, enjoy the time he has left, and leave the shambles that Congress has become to others. But Nevada will certainly drop in its Congressional power level. And I'm not sure either party has a candidate who is a sure thing to replace him. I'm sure they'll pull Angle and Chicken Lady Sue Lowden out of mothballs, to give it a go. Has John Ensign lived down his sordid affair yet? I can't even think of a Democrat who they might put up, though Dina Titus will likely give it a shot, and Shelley Berkley may not be so far out of the public's consciousness to give it another try.

Either way, good luck Harry. Ride off into that gorgeous Nevada sunset. Just don't fall off the horse any more!

Read: Reid won’t seek re-election to Senate in 2016


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