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October 19, 2019

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Sen. Evan Bayh retirement gives Harry Reid one more headache; Tarkanian profiled on rural tour

260 days until election day; 113 days until primary day; eight days until the special legislative session to find a few hundred million dollars…..

News of the day: Sen. Evan Bayh gave Nev. Sen. Harry Reid one more unneeded headache, deciding, despite being way up in the polls and flush with cash, to retire.

It’s a bit late in the cycle to make this decision -- the moderate Democrat showing that every senator is a king of his own skull-sized kingdom.

He’s the third Democratic retirement, which means another seat Democrats will have to defend vigorously, and the possibility of a thinner majority for Reid, even if Reid overcomes increasingly tough odds for re-election …..

Speaking of Reid, the Review-Journal offers its second in its series of profiles of the GOP field, both of which have entailed rural halo tours. This weekend, it was Danny Tarkanian, with the headline, “Rebel with a Cause.” This is a play on both a famous movie starring James Dean and a nod to Tarkanian’s career as a UNLV basketball player, the UNLV nickname in turn referring to the pro-slavery traitors of the old Confederacy. (Bring on the hate mail, readers.)

Anyway, back to that profile. Here’s what we learned:

-Four kids.

-Two election attempts.

-Two election defeats.

-His wife Amy likes, in the parlance of politics, “frank talk”:

"Because of the Gibbons and Ensign thing, people come up to me at every event and say, 'Can he keep it in his pants?'" says Amy Tarkanian, eyes wide as her husband winces at her blunt talk.

-They met when Amy waited on him at Tahoe Joe's Steakhouse in Fresno.

-Rural voters are conservative and hate Reid.

Meanwhile, a reminder: 70 percent of the state lives in Clark County, so it’s likely that’s where the election will be won or lost, given that, you know, that’s where the voters are.

The Sun’s Lisa Mascaro reports that President Obama is here Thursday to campaign for Reid and raise money for the DNC, at the home of George Maloof (hat tip: Ralston.)

Mascaro had a piece on the mutually beneficial spat between Reid and Sen. John McCain, both facing uphill re-election fights.

I had a quick profile of neoconservative David Frum, whose GOP is leaving him behind.

More later, friends…..

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