Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he has been “shocked” at the behavior of John McCain since he returned to the Senate from his failed White House bid.
“My disappointment — no, that’s the wrong word," Reid declared angrily. "I’ll try to find a better word. My amazement has been John McCain. I thought he’d turn out to be a statesman, work for things. He’s against everything. He’s against everything! He didn’t used to be against everything.”
Reid’s fury at McCain was revealed in an eye-opening article, titled “Harry Reid Is Complicated,” in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday.
Reid might strike some as a soft-spoken, amiable gentleman from a small Western town (Searchlight, Nev., population 798). But the analytical article presents the 70-year-old Democrat as anything but likeable, a blunt-talking politicians whose animosities go far beyond McCain.
Adam Nagourney, the Times' chief national political correspondent, wrote the article, which also disclosed that:
- Reid “has a thing” about fat people, “manifested in asides to aides who seem to be getting portly and an office staff that is suspiciously thin.” When George W. Bush invited Reid for coffee in the Oval Office in the last weeks of his presidency, Bush’s dog walked in and Reid told the president: “Your dog is fat.”
- Reid readily admits that he called Bush a “liar” twice, and referred to him as a “loser” — in front of a high school civics class.
- Reid called angry protesters at town-hall meetings “evilmongers,” and said he has no regrets for referring to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as a “political hack.”
- When independent Democrat Joe Lieberman said he would not support the healthcare reform bill Reid was trying to pass in the Senate, Reid told associates: “He double-crossed me.” Lieberman disputes that he misled Reid.
- Reid demonstrated an apparent aversion to black people in comments he made about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. He was quoted in a new book as saying that Obama could become America’s first black president because he was “light skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Reid apologized to President Obama for the remarks.
Reid has “an almost pathological propensity to say things that get him in trouble,” Nagourney observed.
The majority leader’s missteps have not been lost on Nevada voters: The Senate’s most powerful Democrat, who is up for re-election in November, is trailing his possible opponents badly in the polls.
A Rasmussen Report survey in mid-January found Reid earning just 36 percent of the vote against either of two top Republican challengers — down seven percentage points from a month earlier. Sue Lowden, former chairwoman of the Nevada GOP, drew 48 percent against Reid, and businessman Danny Tarkanian picked up 50 percent.
The poll also showed Reid trailing a third Republican contender, former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, by four percentage points.
Rasmussen found that 47 percent of respondents have a “very unfavorable” opinion of Reid, and a survey by The Las Vegas Review-Journal disclosed that 52 percent of Nevadans view Reid unfavorably.
A more recent poll by Daily Kos/Research 2000 showed Reid trailing Tarkanian by 11 percentage points, and Lowden by nine.
For more on McCain, read Christopher Ruddy’s column. Click here.
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