Back home, Harry Reid more concerned about catching mice than polls
By Jean Reid Norman
To explain Harry Reid, Searchlight resident Richard Hill tells the mouse story.
Hill’s wife, Judy, keeps an eye on the Senate majority leader’s local house while he is in Washington, and recently she was dealing with a rogue mouse.
Hill helped her set traps three times with cheese, but to no effect.
When Reid and his wife, Landra, came home, “Senator Reid told me I’m 0 for 3 when it comes to trapping mice,” Hill said.
Having been on the receiving end of Reid’s dry humor, Hill is pretty sure that the senator was not serious when he made a now infamous remark to the Review-Journal advertising director that he hoped the newspaper, which has been critical of him, goes out of business.
“That’s just Harry,” Hill said.
A Reid spokesman also said the senator was not being serious.
On Friday, during a stop at the Searchlight Nugget with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey and an entourage of staff members and media in tow, Reid had the home field advantage. Polls that show him trailing little-known Republicans were irrelevant at the Nugget, where Reid visited with old friends took the corner booth for two eggs over easy and whole wheat toast.
At the next table, Hill questioned the polls that show Reid behind.
“That’s crazy,” he said. “Where did they take that poll?”
Reid also took the opportunity, after an announcement of $135 million in federal money coming to Nevada through the Southern Nevada Public Management Act, to fire back at polls by the Review-Journal and the blog Daily Kos that showed Reid trailing Republicans Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian. Both polls had biases, Reid said.
“My polling numbers are fine,” he said. “Every person who’s been mentioned so far, all my polls show me ahead.
“There’s a year to go. Come next June, when they’ve had a primary and have a candidate, we will be happy to engage them.”
At the Nugget, Reid seemed to relish the opportunity to introduce Salazar, a former Senate colleague and a Colorado rancher, to his neighbors: Nugget owner Verlie Doing, Native American Arthur Fraijo, Searchlight Town Advisory Board Chairman and general store owner Stan Colton.
After breakfast, Reid thanked the kitchen staff, and he and Salazar, sporting a cowboy hat, got into an SUV to lead a convoy of staff and media to Cottonwood Cove for the announcement.
On the way, they turned onto a dirt road to the Searchlight Cemetery, where staff and media waited at the metal gate while the senator and secretary visited Reid’s family plot, where his parents, grandparents and brother are buried.
Salazar said he had read Reid’s history of Searchlight and had seen photos, “but I had no clue how far and remote it was.”
In front of the audience at Cottonwood Cove, Reid recounted the tour, calling it a “memorable day.”
Salazar returned the favor, recalling Reid’s hard-scrabble youth working with his father in the mines while his mother took in laundry.
“Sometimes in political life, you find a lot of people who are back-slapping, smiling people who don’t come from the heart,” he said. “That’s not the case with Harry Reid. What you see is what you get.”