Las Vegas Sun

July 6, 2022

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Jon Ralston:

What a meeting between Harry and Rory Reid must be like these days

Harry and Rory meet to talk in a small room at the back of Searchlight’s General Store:

Harry: This is a strange place to meet, son. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you didn’t want to be seen with me.

Rory: Don’t be silly, Dad.

Harry: OK. So what do you want to talk about?

Rory: Dad, what are we going to do about this two Reids thing? You — I mean it — is killing me.

Harry: I was going to say the same thing to you. But there is a solution.

Rory: What, change my name?

Harry: Uh, no. You could not run and not cause me a problem.

Rory: Me cause you a problem? You must be joking, Dad. Do you read the blogs?

Harry: What’s a blog?

Rory: OK, do you see the polls? Do you realize everywhere I go someone attacks me about you?

Harry: Really? Well how much of that $3 million you are so proud of raising do you think you could have raised without that last name?

Rory: Gee, thanks, Dad. That last name’s 50 percent disapproval rating really helps.

Harry: Remember when I told you not to become a county commissioner, that it would kill your chances to win a statewide office? That’s a bigger problem. No one trusts a county commissioner.

Rory: Not like they trust Congress. So what do we do, Dad? This is so frustrating. I put out a vision paper and all those jackals want to ask about is you.

Harry: Oh yes, nice issues booklet, son. If I have taught you anything, it’s not to commit to anything too early. Or at all.

Rory: I’m not you, Dad. I’m my own man.

Harry: (laughs heartily See how many people buy that one, son.

Rory: That’s what’s so funny. We are being hurt because people think you put me in this race and that we arrogantly want to have a dynasty — the opposite of how it really is.

Harry: Oh, yes, Rory. That is hilarious. Helps us both a lot. Excuse me for not appreciating the irony just now when anyone with a pulse — and maybe some without one — beat me in a head-to-head matchup. And now I have to deal with this two Reids thing, too?

Rory: Dad, you are the one who taught me that timing is everything in politics. You got the presidential caucus here last year. You got all those Democrats registered. You got a great organization for the party. So now, with Gibbons and Ensign destroying the state GOP, this is my time.

Harry: Son, I got all that stuff for me. For me! Only way I can survive my poll numbers. Not so you could screw it up by running, too.

Rory: Come on, Dad. Gibbons may run again. And having Ensign there helps us both.

Harry: Oh, I grant you that. I am so happy John is not resigning. I tell him every day to just keep his head down and stay the course. And I put my arm around him when I say it.

Rory: (chuckles) How do you do that stuff with a straight face?

Harry: Have you seen all the crazy stuff I have said, son? I said all of it with a straight face.

Rory: Good point, Dad. By the way, love those new ads. I almost didn’t recognize you. Who was playing you in those spots?

Harry: Funny, son. That was me — the kinder, gentler Harry Reid.

Rory: (smiles) I hope we can find people who love both of us.

Harry: (wry smile) MGM Mirage does.

Rory: True. But do you think anyone will vote just on the merits of who we are?

Harry: That’s what I’m afraid of! Seriously, what kills me about all these attacks by the Republicans on my job as leader is the underlying assumption that if they get rid of me, it will be better. Better with Chuck Schumer?

Rory: I know how you feel. I created that committee to make people think we care what they think. Came up with a great name — Committee on Community Priorities. And no one gives me any credit for leadership.

Harry: The price of being a Reid.

Rory: The price may be too heavy, Dad. We could both lose — we sure would today.

Harry: Maybe neither of us should run and give the party a better shot at retaining those seats. They are the most important ones for the state.

Rory: (pauses, then laughs) I love your sense of humor, Dad.

Harry: I love you, man.

Rory: I love you, too. But just to be safe, I’m leaving out the back door.

Jon Ralston hosts the news discussion program “Face to Face With Jon Ralston” on Las Vegas ONE and publishes the daily e-mail newsletter “RalstonFlash.com.” His column for the Las Vegas Sun appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Ralston can be reached at 870-7997 or at [email protected]

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