"But what he likes doing most of all, apparently, is insulting people."
That is Real Clear Politics DC bureau chief Carl Cannon's assessment this morning of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a piece in which he allowed me to bloviate about my views on Reid's behavior and view of the media and catalogued some of Reid's "greatest" hits in the wake of his latest -- the unfortunate hurricanes comparison.
Cannon gave me a chance to synthesize some of my thoughts about Reid and the media. The senator cut me off once for a couple of years in the 1990s and has not come on "Ralston Reports" now for almost two years.
But I maintain a good relationship with some of his staffers, and no one admires and has chronicled Reid's Machiavellian streak more than I. (Still thinking about that unauthorized biography....)
But his public utterances, seemingly a reflection of some strain of Tourette's, continue to amaze many, especially those in DC, where Reid has had amazing success and longevity despite what I see as a thorough lack of understanding -- and respect -- for the media's role, as Cannon pointed out. As he wrote: "there's nothing typical" about Reid.
Some other highlights if you prefer not to click through, including a few of my quotes and Cannon's occasionally scathing assessment of the majority leader:
---“The hardest job in politics may be Harry Reid’s press secretary,” says Jon Ralston, a Las Vegas-based reporter with an encyclopedic knowledge of modern Nevada politics. “He has had a lot of them since I started covering him in 1986. My enduring image is of his staff, their BlackBerrys at the ready, almost trying not to cringe in fear as he begins an interview.”
---The result is often the “Reidisms” that are so familiar to Nevada reporters and the senator’s Washington adversaries alike. “Sometimes it is committing a ‘Kinsley gaffe’ -- telling a truth no other pol would,” Ralston says. “But often, it is just saying something that didn't need to be said or shouldn’t have been said.”
----Voters in this country often tell pollsters that they want Democrats and Republicans in the nation’s capital to get along -- or at least work together. That can’t be an easy task in such an ideologically polarized environment. But it also doesn’t help to have a Senate Democratic leader who routinely disparages the Republican Party, calls people names, injects racial caricatures into the discourse, and concocts fanciful theories about his opponents’ actions and beliefs.
----Americans often wonder why Washington is so dysfunctional. There’s blame to go around, but Harry Reid deserves his fair share.