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Politics Biden and Obama pay tribute to Harry Reid at Vegas memorial, praising him as 'one of the greatest Senate majority leaders in history'

06:52  09 january  2022
06:52  09 january  2022 Source:   businessinsider.com

I Thought I Knew Harry Reid. I Was Wrong.

  I Thought I Knew Harry Reid. I Was Wrong. The pol I once scoffed at for embodying the worst of American politics turned out to be one of the most morally effective leaders the Democratic Party has ever seen.Oh, to be young. When I presented the quote to Reid’s spokesperson Jim Manley, he replied: “Well Zach Carter, you tell Grover Norquist that Harry Reid says he can go f--- himself,” in a tone that suggested he would feel little remorse if I did the same. Then he hung up. Demoralized, I spent the rest of the day analyzing mortgage default data. The quote was spicy, but useless for readers interested in banking policy.

US President Joe Biden speaks during a memorial service for the late US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2022. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images © Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks during a memorial service for the late US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2022. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
  • President Biden and former President Barack Obama honored Harry Reid in a memorial service Saturday.
  • Biden and Obama praised the former Senate Majority Leader for his grit and determination.
  • Reid's legacy includes the Affordable Care Act and ending the Senate filibuster on non-SCOTUS nominees.

President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama both honored former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a Las Vegas memorial service on Saturday, lauding him as a "fighter" who "would always have your back."

Biden eulogizes Reid as a fighter 'for the America we all love' at memorial service

  Biden eulogizes Reid as a fighter 'for the America we all love' at memorial service Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was honored on Friday at a memorial service in Las Vegas, attended by President Biden, former President Obama and other former colleagues who spoke of Reid's integrity and humility.Biden described his relationship with Reid, who was his longtime colleague in the Senate, as both a decades-long partnership in public service and a close brotherhood."Harry would always have your back," Biden said.Biden described his relationship with Reid, who was his longtime colleague in the Senate, as both a decades-long partnership in public service and a close brotherhood.

Reid died December 28 at the age of 82. He led Senate Democrats in various roles for more than 15 years, serving as senate majority whip, senate minority whip, and finally, senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015.

"Harry Reid will be considered one of the greatest Senate majority leaders in history," Biden said in his remarks Saturday.

He continued: "For Harry, it wasn't about power; it was about the sake of power. It was about the power to be able to use power to do right by people. That's why you wanted Harry in your corner."

Obama praised Reid's "dogged determination" and said Democrats would never have passed the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, and Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms without Reid's help.

Former US President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial service for the late US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2022. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images © Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Former US President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial service for the late US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2022. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Reid's political legacy has also become notorious for his fateful 2013 decision to "go nuclear" and change Senate rules to end the filibuster on executive branch nominees and judicial nominations for all federal courts except the Supreme Court. In part because of Reid's nuclear option, the Senate now requires just a simple majority, rather than 60 votes, to move forward with presidential nominees.

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"Being tough, being a fighter, was one of Harry's singular characteristics," Obama said. "Let's face it: He enjoyed every minute of proving doubters wrong, again and again. 'Sometimes the people who motivate us the most,' Harry would later say, 'believe in us the least.'"


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Obama added that Reid believed "the whole point of holding office, the whole point of wielding power, was to actually get things done on behalf of those you represent."

Reid was remembered as a formidable politician and a man of few words

Saturday's service also included speeches from other top Democrats, including current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Reid's daughter and three sons each spoke at the service as well. One of his sons, Leif Reid, told the audience that his father always retained a deep passion for his home state of Nevada. He added that before his father died, he requested that the lead singer of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers perform at the service.

Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid to lie in state in Capitol

  Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid to lie in state in Capitol Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid to lie in state in CapitolWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The body of former U.S. Senator Harry Reid will lie in state in the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, as lawmakers pay tribute to the Democratic majority leader who died on Dec. 28.

The Killers' frontman, Brandon Flowers, performed the Nevada state song, "Home Means Nevada," and "Be Still."

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images © Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Saturday's speeches about Reid were far from somber. Many of the speakers — including Obama and Biden — cracked jokes about Reid and his lack of patience for idle chitchat. Obama, Biden, and Pelosi each shared stories of occasions where Reid abruptly hung up on them during phone calls.

"I have to tell you — every time I hear a dial tone, I think of Harry," Biden said.

Pelosi said Reid hung up on her "two or three times a day for 12 years."

Reid, who famously grew up in abject poverty and went on to become one of the longest-serving senate majority leaders in US history, often struck his colleagues as being uniquely determined, resilient, and strong-willed, Saturday's speakers said.

"The thing about Harry — he never gave up. He never gave up. He never gave up on anybody who cared about him," Biden said. "If Harry said he was going to do something, he did it."

Reid's body will lie in state at the Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC, before being returned to Nevada for burial in his hometown of Searchlight, the Associated Press reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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