Carl Cannon | Harry Reid’s corrosive words

“Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot . . .” the tweet began. Nothing too unusual there — Twitter can be as opprobrious as the rest of the Web, if more succinct. But this little stink bomb was lobbed by one of Reid’s colleagues, David Vitter of Louisiana. Even in this day and age, that’s not how U.S. senators typically address one another.

Then again, there’s nothing typical about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat whose default rhetorical position is a knee to the other guy’s groin.

A former amateur boxer whose reputation in Nevada was of a guy who’d land one last punch after the bell, Reid is fond of saying, “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.” But what he likes doing most of all, apparently, is insulting people.

“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.”


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