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April 19, 2014

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Magazine feature on Reid comes at opportune time

WASHINGTON — A preview of the New York Times Magazine story coming Sunday on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now available, sure to introduce the often-inscrutable Nevadan to unfamiliar readers nationwide.

The piece comes at an opportune time for Reid, after the furor of his impolitic racial remarks about President Barack Obama and as the most vulnerable Democratic senator in the nation begins his underdog fight for re-election in 2010.

The story offers few new zingers from the leader, who often brings on trouble in his way with words. But it covers lots of familiar territory for those who have followed Reid's career, as well as new insight on the health care debate Reid is leading in Congress.

Veteran Times reporter Adam Nagourney writes that Reid "thought the White House erred in trying to win the support of Olympia Snowe, the Republican senator from Maine, for a health care compromise."

"As I look back it was a waste of time dealing with her, because she had no intention of ever working anything out," Reid said.

Also, Nagourney catches this quip from the majority leader: "I personally wish that Obama had a smaller agenda," Reid said. "It would be less work."

But the heart of the piece tells the familiar political conundrum as the 2010 election revs up.

While leading the Democratic agenda in Washington brings great power to the small state, Reid's role remains a tough sell as he faces seeks re-election at home in Nevada — still a fiercely independent state, despite its Democratic voter registration advantage that helped send Obama to the White House.

The story also includes quotes from Republican challengers Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, as well as other Nevada notables and leaders in Washington, including the president.

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