The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 March 2005

Reid Savages Greenspan

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is at it again, this time blasting Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in a particularly nasty way.

This appeared in yet another irritating feature piece on Reid, this time by Knight Ridder newspapers, similar to one that ran a few days ago in the Boston Globe. For the umpteenth time, Reid gets to tell the story of his upbringing in Searchlight, Nevada.

Silver State residents have heard this story way, way too many times before.

(Knight Ridder Newspapers)

"I'm not a big Greenspan fan. ... I voted against him two times. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington," Reid said on CNN's "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics."

Reid complained that Greenspan had decried budget deficits when Bill Clinton was president but he doesn't criticize Bush for turning a federal budget surplus he inherited from Clinton into trillions of new debt.

Though Senate Democrats so far have presented a unified front on Social Security and judicial nominations, Reid's hold over his troops has yet to be truly tested.

"The real crunch time for Reid will be if and when the Bush administration attempts to cut a deal with Democrats on Social Security," said Marshall Wittmann, a fellow at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

Reid was born Dec. 2, 1939, in a tin-roofed shack in Searchlight, a small mining town in southern Nevada best known for its brothels. His father spent his time underground, mining for gold and other precious ores, until alcohol and depression drove him to suicide. His mother did laundry, and her clientele included the bordellos. With his mop of reddish hair, the lad came to be known as "Pinky" by the locals. It stuck.


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