Reid fundraiser draws designer audience

Far from Searchlight, Sen. Harry Reid held a cocktail party fundraiser Friday in New York City hosted by Marianne Nestor Cassini, who runs Oleg Cassini Inc., the fashion design company named after her late husband.

Women's Wear Daily sent a reporter, who wrote that Reid "looked as relaxed as can be at the low key meet-and-greet ... Fifty-five guests cycled through the Beaux Arts townhouse, and the Democratic politician chatted with every last one."

Cassini said Reid "was an excellent conversationalist. So much so that the Searchlight, Nev., guest of honor was often encircled by guests," according to the newspaper.

"In a baby blue tie and a striped suit, with a gold watch on one wrist and a red banded bracelet on the other, Reid took in the airy room, occasionally looking out the open massive arched French windows," the paper said.

"Whether discussing gun control or multipoint scalable video broadcasting (more easily understood as a radio call-in show with video), Reid was a willing audience."

The Senate majority leader spoke with the reporter about the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press telephone records and the factory collapse in Bangladesh last month that killed more than 1,100 people.

“Hopefully some of these manufacturers now understand that their short-term goal of saving a few bucks is not worth it,"  he said of the catastrophe. "The pain and suffering should end here.”

Reid spent an hour at the Manhattan fundraiser, then left to attend a performance of "One Day in the Life of Henri Shnuffle," a play written by his granddaughter Ryan E. Reid,  who is the daughter of oldest son Rory Reid and his wife, Cindy.

Party co-host Steve Lee told Women's Wear Daily it appeared Reid enjoyed the cocktail event as a "welcome change."

“You know in Washington, it’s policy, policy, policy. That’s all people want to talk about,” Lee said.

Aides said Tuesday that Reid was raising money for his campaign committee, Friends for Harry Reid. He has said he plans to run for another term in 2016.