“I was always willing to do things that others were not willing to do,” Harry Reid told New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich in an interview appearing today.
Truer words were never spoken.
As a former Reid staffer in the late 80s, reading Leibovich’s piece was a shot to the gut. Something about seeing the words “Reid, who is 79, does not have long to live,” lent a stark reality to what I’d refused to accept.
Reid may not have long to live, though I would never count him out. But it’s clear he hasn’t lost the brutal honesty that confounded his press corp and characterized much of his career, perhaps best illustrated in assessing his chances against pancreatic cancer: “As soon as you discover you have something on your pancreas, you’re dead.”
Then there was the time Reid was willing to do “things that others were not,” like fabricating a story about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, also recalled in Leibovich’s piece. Something tells me Reid’s health issues have not robbed him of his guile.
One gets the sense Reid may regret giving up not only his seat in the Senate but the chance to do battle with Donald Trump.
“Trump is an interesting person. He is not immoral but is amoral. Amoral is when you shoot someone in the head, it doesn’t make a difference. No conscience.”
Reid goes on to contradict himself by pointing out Trump’s immorality: “He’ll lie. He’ll cheat.”
At one point Reid refers to himself in the past tense, noting that much has been written about him since he left Washington.
“I was kind of a strange guy.”
Leibovich describes a neediness in Reid to be relevant, which is not at all surprising for a man of his achievements.
Reid’s former Chief of Staff David Krone tells Leibovich that leaving the Senate saved Reid’s life. With all due respect to Krone, I’m not so sure.