Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Harry Reid Steps in It Again

Among Harry Reid’s many problems is Joe Lieberman, or more particularly, the tick-tock of events from December in which Lieberman objected to Reid’s last-minute Medicare buy-in. Politico recounts:

The New York Times Magazine posted a preview of Sunday’s profile on Reid that quoted the Nevada Democrat as saying Lieberman “double-crossed” him by suggesting he’d support a Reid-brokered compromise that he later opposed. The story cited unnamed associates of the majority leader who said Reid was so enraged he briefly considered scuttling the whole bill before consenting to Lieberman’s demand.

Yesterday, I am informed by Senate aides, Reid called Lieberman to deny the account. But of course taking issue with the New York Times, the Holy Grail of the Left, is dicey. So Reid put out a mild and carefully worded statement that tried to sidestep the particulars of the incident but make peace with Lieberman, whose vote is still critical for passage of the Democrats’ agenda. Reid’s statement read: “Sen. Lieberman and I have a very open and honest working relationship. On issues ranging from foreign policy to health care, even when we disagree, he has always been straightforward with me.” But Reid couldn’t bring himself to walk back the specific quote.

Lieberman in turn put out a statement concerning the paper that could not be named by Reid:

I appreciate Sen. Reid’s statement in response to the comments attributed to him in The New York Times Magazine. As Sen. Reid indicated in his statement, he believes, as do I, that we have always been honest with each other, and any suggestion otherwise is simply false and contrary to the truth.

At that point, Reid’s staff cried uncle and said they’d have no further comment. All this only goes to show just how ham-handed Reid has become. Each public comment turns into another kerfuffle and another day of explanation. Democrats must surely be coming to the conclusion that he’s more trouble than he’s worth. At the very least, perhaps he’d do well to stay away from the media, even outlets as sycophantic to the Democrats as the Gray Lady.