Party People: Sen. Harry Reid

In between the day-to-day summaries, I also want to get to know the people of both parties in the shutdown– and not just their facial hair.  Today, I want to think a little bit about someone we all recognize by now– Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV.  He is fascinating.  He is Mormon.  He grew up poor in the desert, chasing rabbits for dinner.  He was an amateur boxer.  He was Lieutenant Governor of Nevada at age 30, and was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission in 1977, when the mob was a thick thing in Vegas.  Anecdotally at least, he did things like refuse bribes by saying “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me,” and then moving to choke his briber.  (According to this last source, an attempt was made on his life in 1981– a bomb was wired to his car, but did not detonate.)

Harry Reid

The moment right before Harry Reid flips you the bird.

Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission in 1977?  Harry Reid faced down the mob, for crying out loud.  Are you messing with Harry Reid?  Why are you doing that?  You do not mess with Harry Reid.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has noticed that Senator Reid speaks his mind with great frankness, under all circumstances.  He has somehow risen to a position of great power without being a smooth talker.  Really, none of his talks are smooth in that typical political way.  He is idiosyncratic, vivid in his language, and often provocative.  He is his own thing.  So that we may get better acquainted with this particular thing he’s created, I have gathered a supply of notable moments in shutdown-related Harryreidery:

Shutdown negotiations are not about allowing anyone to save face; this is not like “a date to the prom.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57606174/go

Help one child with cancer?   “Why would we do that?”
http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/02/cnns-dana-bash-asks-sen-harry-reid-about-the-government-shutdowns-effect-on-kids-cancer-trials/

On Sen. Ted Cruz: “He has gotten through life by being very smart and talking down to everyone.”
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/harry-reid-interview-government-shutdown-100713

On Rep. John Boehner: He may be keeping the government shut down because Harry Reid “hurt his feelings.”  If that is the case, Sen. Reid has a message for Rep. Boehner:
“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50156389n

On Republicans: “They’ve lost their minds.”
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/30/budget-showdown-test-wills-as-shutdown-deadline-comes-into-view/

I have a feeling that as the shutdown continues, this supply of notable moments in Harryreidery will only grow.  harry reid

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