Senator Harry Reid Again Suffers Foot-in-Mouth Disease

Senator-Harry-Reid.jpgHe's had another attack. Foot-in-Mouth Disease. But this time around, Harry Mason Reid, a Nevada Democrat and the Senate Majority Leader, may have gone too far.
He has insulted the country's growing Asian voting bloc and may regret it as he seeks to retain his Senate seat in the November mid-term elections. Reid has been a Senator since 1987 and Senate Majority Leader since January 2007.
He doesn't look like a quipster but reporters following his political life know better.
For example, just last week, while speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, he says he couldn't help himself when he blurted out,  "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are."
The reference was to Asian business leaders attending the event. But he didn't stop there. Reid thought he was being funny when he told the audience he often had difficulty remembering the correct names of many persons he had met whose last name happened to be Wong.
He quipped, "One problem that I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight." There was a hush among the attendees.
The Asian Pacific American Advocates immediately released a statement blasting Reid for his "racist and disgusting" comments.
The statement said, "Senator Reid's comments are offensive and racist to Asian Pacific Americans.
"He falsely assumes that our communities continue to perpetuate the model minority stereotype, when we have been actively working to highlight the vast socio-economic disparities within our communities.
"Additionally, the Senator's comment about keeping his Wongs straight is, simply put, racist and disgusting.
"It implies that Asian Pacific Americans are identical, monolithic, and interchangeable and devalues our individual identities, cultures, and heritage.
"Though we understand the Senator has apologized, half-hearted apologies are not enough. He must make intentional efforts to work with Asian Pacific American in a culturally acceptable and appropriate manner."
Reid, a lawyer by profession, apologized immediately.  "My comments were in extremely poor taste," he said. "Sometimes I say the wrong thing."
Born in Searchlight, NV with a 75th birthday coming up Sept. 2, Reid acknowledges he has often said 'the wrong thing" at the wrong time.
Like in 2010 when President Barack Obama was a Senator from Illinois.  Reid referred to him in the book, Game Change, as "a light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." He apologized later.
In 2005, Reid called President George W. Bush "a loser," then also quickly apologized.
He once referred to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as "a political hack." Again, he apologized.
Probably one of the most embarrassing incidents for several of Reid's colleagues in Washington occurred in 2008. The event was the dedication of a Capitol Hill Welcome Center.
Unabashed, Reid said at the dedication, "Because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol."
He added, "It may be descriptive, but it's true" of the body odor reference. Reid didn't apologize, however, for that zinger.
Reid is considered a political dinosaur in the Congress. Before becoming Senate Majority Leader in 2007, Reid served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.
Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Nevada's 1st congressional district, and served in Nevada local and state government as city attorney of Henderson, NV. He was also a state legislator, the 25th Lieutenant Governor and chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission
As Senate Majority Leader and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Reid has attained higher elected political office in United States government than any other U.S. Latter-day Saint politician to date, according to his online biography.

Should he complete his full term in the 113th United States Congress, he will be one of only three Senators to serve at least eight years as Majority Leader, along with Alben W. Barkley and Mike Mansfield.

The mid-term elections this year are considered important for the upcoming presidential election in 2016. That is because all 435 House seats and 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballots.

The GOP has made no secret that it needs and wants to gain at least six more seats in the Senate to be able to control both the House and the Senate in the coming years. The Senate is banking on Democrats losing at least that number.

Right now, the Democratic Party holds 53 seats in the Senate; Independents, two; and he GOP 45.  Fifty-five seats are considered a majority.

In the House of Representatives, the Republicans hold 233 seats; the Democrats, 199. There are three vacant seats.

At least one Democrat, Georgia's Michelle Nunn, already has stated she won't commit to voting for Reid if she wins her Senate race in November.
Quipster or not, Reid remains popular with Washington insiders. They predict Harry Mason Reid will prevail again once the votes are counted.
Wonder what quip Reid will use to describe his victory at that time?  Probably something like, "I deserved it, folks. Thanks for making this occasion necessary." 

Comment with facebook

Reader Poll

About Us

ELECTION CHANNEL® is an Internet news network that distributes timely and relevant political issues, news stories, candidate reviews and expert opinions to local, national and global audiences.