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Why Are So Many  People Mad with Harry Reid?
Why Are So Many People Mad with Harry Reid?

AIR DATE: July 20, 2010

Sen. Harry Reid has never been really popular but his negatives are dangerously, some say even terminally, high. Republicans say he is no longer the independent Nevadan that he was when he was sent to Washington, but has become a major force for the liberal agenda in Washington. But is that enough to generate all the anger that is now focused on him? Has he been victimized by the circumstances of the recession and historically high unemployment in Nevada? Or has he simply failed to deliver what he says he has?

Elizabeth Crum, Ed, Nevada News Bureau
Brad Coker, Mason-Dixon Polling
Geoff Schumacher, columnist, LVRJ
Prof Marc Hetherington, Dept of Poli Sci, Vanderbilt U

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Hi....Adam from State of Nevada here...Thanks for all of the your comments.
We're really grateful for the vigorous debate on this discussion thread. Nothing like politics to get people fired up!

I want to remind everyone who posts of the State of Nevada guidelines:

* We encourage elevated and constructive dialogue, even when disagreements arise.
* Write with civility and respect.
* Commenting for any purpose other than sincere expression, or deliberately attacking another commenter, will not be tolerated.
* Offending comments will be deleted.

AdamJul 19, 2010 12:30:39 PM
WOW!!!! Wouldn't it be great to have a leader in the State of Nevada and Majority leader in the U.S. Senate in office at the same time. Let alone the greatest Majority leader of all time. GO REID'S!!!! only the best hope for all of us.
Jim SJul 16, 2010 15:16:27 PM
I have been a resident of Nevada for 6 1/2 years and have agreed with and disagreed with Sen. Reid. When I look objectively at his performance I can to rationalize replacing him with his current opponent. I am a Disabled Vietnam Combat Veteran and the Veterans Healthcare System he has helped establish here is absolutely wonderful.
Robert PlumleeJul 16, 2010 12:08:04 PM
@ Susan - I get a form letter response for everything I submit to Sen. Reid. I get a similar response from Sen. Ensign, the White House, and Rep Dina Titus. That's how business is done. Is it unacceptable? No - the letters acknowledge that the rep has received your POV and lets you know theirs....(this comment has been deleted per SoN post guidelines).
Not Far LeftJul 16, 2010 11:47:39 AM
In response to Tori's msg, copied below: "In response to Susan below, i have a question: How do you suppose that your would respond to 50,000 pieces of mail and e-mail per month? My answer: I would answer some of them. That's probably a realistic number of inquiries that the Senator receives considering he is the Leader! Do you suppose that the Senator has time to answer each piece personally - perhaps call each individual up and have a chat? He has WORK TO DO! Responding to mail and e-mail and phone calls is what his staff are for! They act as an extention of the Senator himself! My answer: One of the other callers said the same thing, that no response ever came to any of her many communications, and I have to surmise that this is a typical experience for many others. And by the way, I've never received a comprehensive answer from his staff either; what I've been told is "we will pass your comments on to Senator Reid." Not helpful and not acceptable.
SusanJul 16, 2010 11:39:39 AM
First lets blame who needs to be blamed, and that's the greedy corporate executives who put their personal agenda above the health and welfare of her natural citizens. And lets not forget the banking industry who took part in padding their wallets with illegal and unregulated insurance derivatives. But really its not about Harry Reid. Its about trying to run a country without taxes. Good luck. And any politician who tells you they are going to lower taxes is a bold face liar.It doesn't work that way. Every single person on this earth deserves health care even if it means forking out a few extra bucks for our sisters and brothers. But people and corporations really don't care about one another, that costs money. Its about obtaining cheap labor at all costs, in sourcing and out sourcing of Americas jobs to again pad the pockets of executives and investors. I love Harry Reid for standing up for the rights of Americans. Maybe we can engineer and build the worlds largest array of solar panels the world has ever seen. Nevada has the land and we need to keep our water in Lake Mead. Now that's just smart. Thank you Harry Reid.
Debbie SimpsonJul 16, 2010 11:34:12 AM
Wow, it is tough to understand this kind of over the top irrational behavior - Harry appears to be an ordinary guy in many ways - he is slight of build and soft spoken and has an earnestness about him. I have been impressed with how he went ahead with health care bills in spite of the extreme anger in society - my conclusion is that the anger is in the class of people who didn't want to send their kid to a school when our President would appear. Maybe it is a kind of racism? It certainly is irrational and extreme. I think he is a punching bag for everyone's anger. I am a short termer Nevada - been here for just over two years - and find Reid to be very attractive. Maybe it is also a product of the eternal pounding by the conservative radio hosts who bring it up every day and hour. Angle is a gift - someone who can be beaten. Maybe Angle is God's message that we need to elect Reid.
Rev. Thomas PerlJul 16, 2010 11:33:29 AM
In response to Susan below, i have a question: How do you suppose that your would respond to 50,000 pieces of mail and e-mail per month? That's probably a realistic number of inquiries that the Senator receives considering he is the Leader! Do you suppose that the Senator has time to answer each piece personally - perhaps call each individual up and have a chat? He has WORK TO DO! Responding to mail and e-mail and phone calls is what his staff are for! They act as an extention of the Senator himself!
ToriJul 16, 2010 10:56:52 AM
If you talk to the Reid haters as to why they hate Reid, they repeat the propaganda talking points put out by the "pretended to be" republicans. The radical extremists have adopted the propaganda of the Nazi's.Just type into your search bar:"Propaganda techniques of German Fascism." They tell lies, even preposterous lies, and repeat them over and over to brainwash people. In order for brainwashing to be effective it has to be subtle and over a long period of time. Just look at their ads on TV that tell lies and keep repeating them over and over. They are accusing Reid of the miserable failures that happened in the bush/cheney illegal admin.They did the same thing to President Clinton and First Lady Hillary. They were assaulted relentlessly by lies repeated over and over accusing them of just about everything.
Go to:, They try to blame Reid for the deficit problems but never accept the fact they created most of our National Debt.Reagan increased the ND-86%, Bush Sr._62%, Clinton_36%, & bush jr.-almost 100%. Just go to:

ghostcommanderJul 16, 2010 10:22:18 AM
In emailing him with my concerns, all I've ever gotten in response is a generic form letter. I suppose someone in his position may not have time to respond to every constituent who contacts him, but I think it goes along with his general disregard for constituents.

I am quite disappointed about the failure of Congress to approve unemployment benefit extensions. I have heard that Republican Olympia Snow contacted him a day after the vote and offered to vote for the bill if he would re-submit it as a single bill to extend the benefits, and his reply has been reported as, "She had her chance to vote on it yesterday." Interesting and rather a vindictive response.

If I heard correctly, some people are angry with him because he "hasn't done enough for Nevada." I find it interesting that these same people will complain at how much our government is spending and how high the debt is getting.

As for my vote, I will most likely vote for "none of the above," as I cannot imagine voting for Sharon Angle.

Susan [vial email]Jul 16, 2010 10:20:08 AM
I think Bryan is on to something, as are the others who point out the feelings of sour grapes. Republicans act like sore losers. If the people vote them out, well then, NO ONE can run the country! They then throw around terms like "The American People want," or "Harry Reid isn't listening to the people." News flash - we get that you only consider folks who think like you as Americans. But the rest of us are too, and we voted Obama and Reid into office. Expand your definition of American!
Not Far LeftJul 16, 2010 10:19:10 AM
Sorry to simplify this serious subject, but in my opinion it is simple. In this short attention span society it is just like your team loosing the Super Bowl. Oh how we hate the other teams quarterback. Probably can't come up with anything real as to why we hate them. It is only certain they are the leader of group that broke your heart. Hate Hate Hate. As an agnostic, I can only chuckle at the hateful "Christian" right.
BryanJul 16, 2010 10:09:30 AM
I like the current caller Lynn, she was absolutely right!
StevenJul 16, 2010 10:02:01 AM
The Democratic Party is far left??? On which planet? Planet Fox News? Again, lazy political commentary. For those tired of lazy political analysis, may I recommend This isn't spam. I don't earn anything from the plug. I've just become more aware!
Not Far LeftJul 16, 2010 09:57:25 AM
I had to literally laugh out loud at the caller who was angry with Harry Reid, but not the Governor, because Harry, unline Gibbons, keeps a higher profile (and he's a veterinarian- really!?!?). I am proud of Harry- he is out there doing something for our country and our state other than cheating on his wife in MY Governor's mansion! Harry is a figurehead for his party, a man of action, and for good or ill, people place ire in his bucket because he does work. Fact is, Harry has done much to help people in Nevada and our nation, and Gibbons simply hasn't. I support Harry Reid, and his popularity may have suffered for his high profile work as Demo-Party Leader, but it shows how selfness this man really is.
Kelli AbbottJul 16, 2010 09:57:23 AM
I am offended at the title or leading question of your show. People are not as upset with Senator Reid as your purport. The Republican spin machine has been very successful at tearing down Senator Reid and your show is a perfect example. The voters of Nevada need to be educated in the system and know that Senator Reid is the first Leader Nevada has ever had in Senate history and voting him out will gain them nothing. We will likely NEVER have a leader again. We need to work with Senator Reid and NOT throw out the baby with the bath water! Newly elected Senators need to go along to get along and it takes a very long time before they gain ANY POWER to AFFECT anything. The system there is so entrenched, it will not be changed by any "newby." Bad idea to VOTE Senator Reid out, we need to support and educate the Senator too!
ToriJul 16, 2010 09:54:09 AM
Harry shows no support for Nevada. His comments and actions are never directed toward his State except for his campaign ads. He didn't even bother to support his state when the President "disssed" Nevada TWICE. He only cares about Washington and keeping Pelosi and Obama happy. Also...the solar jobs he takes credit for out in Eldorado Valley; he had nothing to do with them. The company who did the project had to go AROUND his office to get the Federal approvals (which was BEFORE he was Majority Leader).
Lazell PreatorJul 16, 2010 09:52:25 AM
Can the talking heads in the media stop calling the Public Option something that the "left of the left" wanted? As the debate progressed, 60% of Americans consistently wanted a public option. It was possible to achieve - except that insurance companies didn't want it. The media contributes to the polarization of this country by sticking to the easy meme of "far left" and "far right." Not every issue falls so neatly into these categories. The real polarization is b/w the haves and the scraping bys.
Not Far LeftJul 16, 2010 09:45:23 AM
I support HR because of his accomplishments and feel the reasons for hating him are irrational, especially in light of the reasons advanced. One does not get emotional, one gets facts!
Richard YorkJul 16, 2010 09:44:51 AM
Its not about Harry Reid. Its about the "D" after his name. If it was John Doe "D" they would be mad at him to. The right is just mad at them self for the last 8 years before Obama. With all the media attention on the tea party folks is giving them a microphone to amplify criticism.
marcosJul 16, 2010 09:39:00 AM
Knute Berg writes that killing Yucca Mountain killed "hundreds of jobs". I find that statement non-sensical in the light of the millions of jobs that deregulation and the rise of corporate power has cost American workers. This is a fight o take our country back....not from "Washington", but from the corporate boardrooms where the people who tell the GOP what to do reside. Angle has yet to talk specifics. She fills her campaign spots with inflammatory statements meant to elicit knee-jerk reactions from a desperate population. And the population is desperate because of the policies her GOP handlers espoused for eight long years. NO thanks. I'm moving forward with Senator Reid.I refuse to go back.
Connie SnyderJul 16, 2010 09:39:00 AM
I wonder how "hated" Harry Reid would be if he said and did all the smae things but was a Republican instead of a Democrat? Much less hated I would expect.
JohnJul 16, 2010 09:37:31 AM
Why is the Review Journal upset that Harry Reid has not brought home enough for Nevada? Wouldn't that be pork? Isn't the Review Journal against pork of any kind?
Anon [via email]Jul 16, 2010 09:35:16 AM
Just wondering how much of this anger is really misdirected from the anger at President Obama by folks who feel that they have "lost their country?" You know...the standard mantra from the unhappy conservatives who simply have sour grapes over the fact that a democrat is in the white house...and a black one at that. The cynic in me wonders if this "movement" is nothing more than an attempt to get the white house back by any means necessary - fear, anger, etc.

Harry Reid has my FULL support. He does a lot for this state in terms of job creation, blocking yucca, healthcare, etc.

Laurie [via email]Jul 16, 2010 09:34:37 AM
It seems consistent to me that those who would (wrongly) blame Obama for the bad economy would also blame Harry Reid. Nevada, especially the South, remains a very thinly educated region.
JohnJul 16, 2010 09:33:19 AM
I'm not extremely supportive of, or against Mr. Reid, however, I think his policy on the proposed mag-lev train to California has polarized me against him on that particular subject - in that I have heard he is pushing a plan that ends the train in Victorville rather than in Anaheim, because he has a friend that would benefit from that outcome.

I think the train to Anaheim would be an economic boom for Vegas.

Thank you.

Rob McFarlandJul 16, 2010 09:31:45 AM
I would have assumed that it would be beneficial for Nevada to have one of its own as the Senate Majority Leader. If Sharon Angle is elected, especially as somebody so far on the extreme right, I imagine she'll have very little influence in the Senate and Nevada will suffer as a result.

However, one of you said earlier in the conversation that Reid's popularity has taken a hit since becoming the Democratic leader. Is it usually harmful to a senator's career to come into a position of great power and responsibility? And if that's the case, what's the benefit?

CaitlinJul 16, 2010 09:30:17 AM
Doesn't this seem a little biased? You are doing a show where you are repeatedly saying, "Why do so many people hate Harry Reid?". If you keep saying it, most people will be convinced they should hate him, even if they have no reason to. I hope you plan on doing a show where you repeat something like, "Why is Sharon Angle not fit to be a senator?" just to balance this out.
MikeJul 16, 2010 09:30:11 AM
Harry Reid may not be perfect but he still has done more for Nevada than john ensign and our governor. his legacy is far from perfect but in all honesty he is not single-handedly responsible for the bad economy, and he can't by himself be considered successful in not saving more jobs when we, as Nevadans are responsible for not contributing more to the diversification of our economy and education level of our state. we pay the price of a lack of preparation in the last two decades and whatever work Harry Reid does to help is not going to be visible in 4-6 months.

how is angle or other candidates proposing to help, better than someone with the seniority of Reid that at least is owed some good will in Washington and can find help on projects like city center, which without partially Reid involvement would have sent even more people in the unemployment line...

patricia Jul 16, 2010 09:29:31 AM
Senator Reid is blinded by his own flawed and false philosophy favoring large federal government, he will not listen to the will of the people, he is stubborn & obstinate, and in fine, is not "representing" the majority people's sentiments & desires. To "represent" the people, you must "listen" to the people who have spoken loud and clear.
We have lived in southern Nevada since the early 1960's and have always been supporters of Harry Reid. He is a moral person with a great deal of integrity. He helped rid Las Vegas of organized crime and has been a major advocate for civil rights legislation. One reason we will continue to vote for Harry Reid is that he is a staunch supporter of renewable energy, and he has relentlessly pursued a permanent end to Yucca Mountain. We do not want to live just a few miles away from a nuclear dump. The possibility of an accident or deliberate sabotage to a shipment of nuclear waste is a worry we don't need. His leadership in getting the health care bill passed is remarkable considering all the obstacles he had to overcome. There are many in this country who do not support health care for all Americans, but no one should have to suffer because they cannot afford health insurance or because they have been denied health insurance. Harry Reid is one of the most powerful people in Washington--let's keep him there.
Phil and KathyJul 16, 2010 08:43:35 AM
The fat cats might not like H.R. but I have no understanding why the little guy has a problem with him or his politics. My only guess is deep ignorance. Personally, without Harry Reid and his office of proactive staff my mortgage company would never have given me a permanent restructuring of my mortgage. They stalled for 10 months. It took one letter of explanation of my dilemma of losing paperwork and generating bogus stall tactics, and presto!, I was on the fast track to my restructuring. Thank you Senator Reid. I'll be campaiging for you vigorously this Fall.
Norma RaeJul 16, 2010 08:22:20 AM
Looking backward 20+ years, there may be an item that Harry Reid may have contributed but his position is now different: he leads the Senate and all one has to do is consider the results of the health care bill: his leadership was not to the benefit of the individual of Nevada nor for the United States: it was a give away to the insurance companies. He had the chance to lead a true reform of health care and did not do it. When you have a senator who has accumulated years of seniority and then cannot use it for the good of his state nor his country, he will be vilified and should not hold office any longer.
KirkJul 16, 2010 07:01:51 AM
I just do not get it. Why would Nevadens throw away the power represented by Harry Reids position for a person that is sure to be marginalized almost immediately because of her radical views, inexperience and lack of empathy? I, for sure, am not the biggest fan of Senator reid but this is not high school politics where you vote for someone based purely on whether you like them or not. We need to get over this notion and vote for the person that can do the most for Nevada instead of cutting off our nose to spite our face. The reasons not to vote for Ms. Angle are liegon, among them the fact that her track record as a state legislator is abismal and her sensitivity toward the people of this state is demonstrably lacking by her own pronouncements.
Steven SmithJul 15, 2010 20:43:39 PM
I think that Harry Reid does not get credit for the good things that he has done for Nevada. There has never been a stronger advocate for us in Washington. My family has been in the valley since 1947, I remember Harry Reid in his fight against organized crime, I remember when he was a young lawyer and was one of the few that stood up for integration of Las Vegas. We would not be the modern, thriving city that we are without men with the courage of Harry Reid. I think that if more people knew the projects for which Sen Reid is responsible at least in part, opinion of him would be more positive. Projects such as the completion of City Center, the Solar farm out on the road to Searchlight, the Solar project at the test site, the new power plant out at Beaver Dam just to name a few. He has fought to keep water coming to Nevada, and will soon be engaged in important talks with other western senators to insure our fair share of water for Nevada. We have never had to be ashamed of any scandal involving Harry Reid. Our economic problems would have been worse had it not been for his influen in Washington. Lastly, we have never had to be ashamed of Harry Reid for being involved in scandal.
Yvonne TakhtalianJul 15, 2010 18:49:39 PM
He doesn't even have an economy subject on his e-mail Senator Reid. Killing Yucca Mountain killed hundreds of jobs, and forced many to relocate to other states. The environmental movement must be rational, and run more by engineers and scientist, than rich yuppies. Just think how much cleaner the air would be, and how little carbon polution there would be if we had continued nuclear plant construction in the 70's. Also, there would have been thousands of lives saved. Fossil power routinely kills hundreds of miners, plant operators and maintenace people every year. How many have been killed in operating nuclear power plants. Ans.- None. HARRY - ITS THE ECONOMY, and the millions of tons of gold that have departed our treasury and are now resident in the middle east. Its also the de-industrialization of America. What do we make besides weapons, a few chips, and software?
Knute BergJul 15, 2010 17:44:58 PM
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