December 28, 2016


“As my staff will tell you,” Reid said to me when we spoke the next day, “I’ve done a number of things because no one else will do it. I’ve done stuff no one else will do.” I expected him to give an ­example of a successful parliamentary maneuver or perhaps a brave political endorsement, but instead he mentioned one of the most disreputable episodes of his long career, when, during the 2012 presidential campaign, he falsely accused Mitt Romney of not having paid his taxes. (Even though the facts were wrong, the accusation spurred Romney to release his tax returns, which showed he had only paid 14.1 percent.) “I tried to get everybody to do that. I didn’t want to do that,” Reid said. “I didn’t have anything against him personally. He’s a fellow Mormon, nice guy. I went to everybody. But no one would do it. So I did it.”

As Stephen Miller tweets, “There were no fact checkers on Reid’s claim. No CNN chyrons. No snarky tweets. He got away with it & media gave him a farewell tour for it.” Which brings us to the paragraph that follows in Reid’s profile in the far left New York magazine. Seemingly oblivious to the venality of what Reid just volunteered to the magazine, a New York editor signed off on this description of the Democrat standard-bearer:

Reid appears significantly older than his 77 years. A horrible exercise accident on New Year’s Day in 2015 — when an elastic band he was using in his suburban Las Vegas home snapped and he tumbled into some cabinets — broke bones in his face, as well as his ribs, and left him blind in one eye. It was his declining physical condition that ultimately led him to decide not to seek reelection in 2016. Today, Reid is extremely hunched and walks with the aid of a cane; his voice, always reedy for a politician, is now sometimes so soft that it’s barely audible. But Reid is as stern and blunt as ever, and the combined effect of his mental and physical condition has given him a Yoda-ish quality.

Sure, I get the Yoda and Harry Reid confused all the time, myself. As Jim Geraghty tweets, “Reid is everything the national political media claims to hate, but they can never quite fully denounce him.”

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