Today Harry Reid posted a video announcing he will not seek re-election.
He opens by commenting on the bruises on his face from an accident in his Henderson home when an elastic exercise band broke and knocked him to the floor. He then spends three and half minutes waxing nostalgic about his life and career without ever mentioning all the bruises he has doled out over the years.
With all the different scenes and panning of old still photos the video production has probably been in the works for at several days, while Reid kept insisting he would run for re-election.
Over the years Reid has become wealthy through stealthy land deals and using his power to help friends and hurt enemies. Just this week the watchdog group Cause of Action, which a year ago filed an ethics complaint against Reid, called for a Justice Department investigation of Reid and others over their pressuring a Homeland Security official to intervene and expedite visas for foreign investors — in Reid’s case investors for a Las Vegas casino represented by son Rory’s law firm.
The inspector general of DHS issued a scathing report.
We won’t have Harry to kick us around any more, but it’ll be a long two years until he leaves …
He sent out an email at 5:17 a.m. saying:
When I was a boy, I dreamed of being an athlete. I listened to those baseball games on the radio, and I envisioned myself as a man out in center field at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park in Boston. But the joy I’ve gotten with the work that I’ve done for the people of the state of Nevada has been just as fulfilling as if I had played center field at Yankee Stadium.
The job of Minority Leader of the United States Senate is just as important as being the Majority Leader. It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country. And that’s what I am focused on.
But this accident has caused Landra and me to have a little down time. I have had time to ponder and to think. We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than about ourselves. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.
I am going to be here for another 22 months, and you know what I’m going to be doing? The same thing I’ve done since I first came to the Senate.
We have to make sure that the Democrats take control of the Senate again. And I feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources on me when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that’s what I intend to do.
Someone with my background, my upbringing, to have the experiences I’ve had is really a miracle. And I want you to know that I am so grateful for your invaluable support. I have done my best. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve really tried my hardest to represent the people of the state of Nevada.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Isn’t that sweet? Reminds one of Peter Schweizer’s book, “Extortion,” which has a section on Reid.
Schweizer repeats a quote attributed to Reid’s one time chief of staff, Susan McCue, a woman who turned the term media relations into an oxymoron and someone with whom I’ve had the displeasure of the occasional telephonic shouting match.
McCue told a reporter Reid looks at a person’s vulnerabilities to “disarm, to endear, to threaten, but most of all to instill fear.”
The author also quoted Reid pal and former fellow senator, Richard Bryan, as saying Reid “has a memory like a political elephant. You cross him, he’ll never forget that. There will be a price to pay. Certainly there are people who paid the price.”