Reid kicks off re-election campaign in Searchlight


By LAURA MYERSLAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

This guy is such a loser that Sarah Palin brought more voters, 10,000 to Searchlight than ‘dingy’ Harry could muster at his first stop.  Be still my heart, he spoke to one thousand in Las Vegas.  Look for this fool to create another shovel ready job come November. Random thoughts while watching a grown man start to cry, I’m J.C.

SEARCHLIGHT — U.S. Sen. Harry Reid launched his re-election campaign Monday with a sentimental send-off from his hometown of Searchlight, cheered on by more than 100 close supporters.

“We love you Harry,” friends, neighbors and longtime Democratic Party backers shouted from inside the Searchlight Nugget where 86-year-old owner Verlie Doing and former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan stood by Reid to help start his bid for a fifth term.

Only 100 people in my own hometown? WTF have we sent ACORN to canvas the grave yards?

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., takes a call Monday while riding aboard his campaign bus south of Boulder City. During the next two days, Reid is expected to make stops in Minden, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Reno, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko.
John Locher/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

SEARCHLIGHT — U.S. Sen. Harry Reid launched his re-election campaign Monday with a sentimental send-off from his hometown of Searchlight, cheered on by more than 100 close supporters.

“We love you Harry,” friends, neighbors and longtime Democratic Party backers shouted from inside the Searchlight Nugget where 86-year-old owner Verlie Doing and former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan stood by Reid to help start his bid for a fifth term.

But there was someone missing: his wife of more than 50 years, Landra, who’s recovering from a car accident in which she broke her neck and back, keeping her off the trail for the first time.

“We were really looking forward to this two and a half weeks home,” Reid told the Searchlight gathering. “She got hit really hard. But she’s tough. She’s going to be out here eating Verlie’s food before too long.”

Reid, at 70 facing his toughest re-election ever, seemed ready for the challenge in the most closely watched contest in the nation.

“I know what close elections are and this is going to be a close election,” Reid told a Las Vegas rally of some 1,000 hard-core Democrats at the end of Day One of a three-day campaign tour. “Every vote counts.”

In an interview with the Review-Journal aboard his campaign bus, Reid said he never considered giving up the fight to keep his job.

“This has been a kind of difficult time,” Reid acknowledged, shaking his head. “My wife is recuperating. We’re usually together. It’s been kind of a distraction.”

Did her accident and his tough race make him think, even for a moment, of getting out of politics after four decades?

“Not really,” Reid said after a long pause, then added that he didn’t know for the first 24 to 48 hours whether his wife would be paralyzed or not and that was all that had been on his mind.

“She would have been unhappy if I would have quit,” Reid said of his wife, who isn’t suffering any paralysis. “She’s never been a quitter.”

That means Reid will be campaigning mostly on his own until closer to the Nov. 2 general election, coming back to Nevada as often as he can and when his Senate majority leader duties allow, he said.

“I’ll continue to do my job. I’ll work as hard as I can. I know the issues pretty well,” said Reid, who wore jeans and an open-collar shirt with a wind-breaker instead of a suit. “The time goes quickly.”

Reid dismissed polls that show him running behind his top potential Republican opponents seven months before Election Day. He said the early opinion surveys are not relevant because they are one-on-one matchups while there will be more than a half-dozen candidates on the ballot in November, including Reid, the GOP nominee, several nonpartisan contenders, and one each from the Independent American Party and the Tea Party of Nevada if Scott Ashjian stays in the race.

“I’m not a big poll guy,” Reid said, dismissing surveys with a wave of his hand. “Everyone who knows me knows I have never paid attention to polls. The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.”

What about Tea Party conservatives who converged with up to 10,000 people in Searchlight on March 27 in the largest political protest rally in Nevada history with the movement calling for Reid’s defeat?

Reid said he understands why some are angry at government and Washington during an economic recession that cost people jobs and sent the home foreclosure rates skyrocketing.

But he expressed confusion about what the Tea Party movement wants when its members call for more liberty and freedom and cite the Constitution in denouncing what they see as an expansion of the federal government, including with health care reform.

“The people who are really upset don’t really know why they’re upset,” Reid said.

“What do they mean?” Reid said he wonders when they call for more liberty and freedom. “I’m happy to talk about issues.”

“They want things to be the way they used to be,” Reid said. “They will never be the way they used to be.”

Reid said he believes the Tea Party movement of conservatives, who mostly back Republicans, makes up a minority in Nevada and America.

“The vast majority of people don’t feel that way,” Reid said. “The vast majority of people want problems solved and that’s my business, solving problems.”

Reid points to his own personal story of what Americans can achieve — becoming the most powerful senator in the United States after growing up the poor son of a hard-rock miner in a small town in the Nevada desert.

“My job is to solve problems and try to have a country that allows people like Harry Reid to succeed,” he said. “In America, you see, everybody can make it.”

The big question in the 2010 election is whether Reid will make it to the finish line and eke out a narrow victory in what looks to be his toughest race since 1998, when he barely defeated Republican John Ensign, now a U.S. senator.

Reid’s three-day bus tour in Southern and Northern Nevada seems aimed at getting the senator back to his Nevada roots. He said it’s his first bus tour since he campaigned together with Democrats in years long past.

“You can’t escape who you are. My roots are here and no one can take that away from me,” Reid told his supporters in Searchlight.

In Las Vegas, at the Lorenzi Park rally Monday evening, Reid addressed critics who say he has forgotten those roots.

“There’s some people who say Reid’s not really Nevada anymore. Come to Searchlight and say that to me,” he said to loud applause. “Not a day goes by, not a minute goes by that I don’t think about Nevada. That’s who I am.”

Reid’s campaign called the bus trip the “Driving Nevada Forward” tour. His stops Monday included visits to a massive solar energy project in Boulder City and a training center in Laughlin where the utility company was building solar water heaters for customers.

Both projects are creating Nevada jobs, which is Reid’s and the Democratic Party’s top priority in the election year.

In Pahrump, Reid stopped by a firehouse for a photo opportunity with national and local TV crews. He also received endorsements from several fire and police agencies and the local firefighters union.

Today and Wednesday, Reid will be making stops in Minden, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Reno, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko.

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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2 responses to “Reid kicks off re-election campaign in Searchlight

  1. Jim,

    Would the ‘shovel ready’ jobs include digging a huge hole to bury the garbage he and his cronies have created ? And, maybe a grave for the ‘dingy one’ ! Yes, get those shovels ready.

  2. Pingback: Reprise: American Heart « Diary of a Mad Conservative

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