Harry Reid's premature autobiography


Last spring saw the publication of “The Good Fight,” an autobiography of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The book chronicles Reid’s hardscrabble youth in Searchlight and his rise in Nevada and U.S. politics, ultimately reaching the pinnacle of leadership in the Senate.

While the release of “The Good Fight” was timely in terms of public interest in Reid, it turns out the book is a bit premature in telling the senator’s story. Consider: None of the tumultuous and triumphant events of the past six months — most of which Reid played a major role in — are described in the book.

Sometimes we Nevadans forget that our mild-mannered senior senator — liked and despised across the Silver State — is a key player in determining the fate of the nation. Most recently, Reid has been among just a handful of political leaders negotiating the $825 billion stimulus package, which is widely hoped to trigger a reversal of the nation’s economic spiral. Reid’s oft-proved skill in building bipartisan bridges was evident Friday when three moderate Republicans agreed to support the bill.

Reid worked all day Friday on compromises to bring the moderate Republicans into the fold. Tax cuts were added and spending plans were subtracted, all with an eye toward securing at least 60 votes when the Senate votes on the measure Monday or Tuesday.

But Senate passage won’t end Reid’s work, because the legislation will then go to a conference committee to iron out the differences with the House’s version of the bill. Reid will have his work cut out for him in persuading House Democrats to buy into the significant compromises that were required for Senate approval.

Agree or disagree with Reid’s politics, Nevadans should be proud and pleased that one of their own is involved in the highest-level discussions in Washington. After the stimulus, Reid will be involved in efforts to fix the nation’s health care system and boost production of renewable energy.

In short, “The Good Fight” is a good start. But Reid will have a lot more to write about before he’s done.