Bye Bye, Dingy: Harry Reid to Retire

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 at 8:04 am

He won’t be missed.

Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”

He has already confounded the new Republican majority this year by holding Democrats united against a proposal to gut the Obama administration’s immigration policies as well as a human-trafficking measure Democrats objected to over an anti-abortion provision.

“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” said Mr. Reid, who used a sports metaphor about athletes who try to hang on too long. “I don’t want to be a 42-year-old trying to become a designated hitter.”

Whatever. One less obstructionist asshole to deal with. Big winners? The Koch Brothers, obviously.

His departure at the end of 2016 will create an opening both at the top of the Senate Democratic hierarchy and in a Senate contest that would have been a megaspending slugfest in the presidential battleground of Nevada. Conservatives such as Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who were a favorite target of Reid criticism in 2014, would have spared no expense in trying to oust him.

Major downside?

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who helped Democrats capture the Senate in 2006 and has led their political messaging operation, is considered the favorite to succeed Mr. Reid as party leader. Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, could also be a contender for the job, but it is unclear how strongly he would pursue it.

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6 Responses to “Bye Bye, Dingy: Harry Reid to Retire”

  1. toby928(C) on 27/27/15 at 9:54 am

    Retiring as the minority leader of a Democratically controlled Senate is leaving at the top of your game.

  2. Kirk on 27/27/15 at 11:24 am

    Time, @SenatorReid, does not care if we pass through it together or separately, among friends or alone.

    Time simply passes. Make it count.

  3. Bill_J on 27/27/15 at 11:31 am

    The real reason, he knew the fight to be reelected in a race against Governor Sandoval who is WILDLY popular (runs around 60% approval rating), and has the ability to bring the Hispanic vote to his side, even against the monster Culinary Union machine in Las Vegas.

    It would be great if the Governor decided not to run now and waited till 2020 for a Presidential run.

  4. cool arrow on 27/27/15 at 3:08 pm

    No doubt he’s retiring to spend more time with his pool boys… FAMILY. I mean FAMILY.