'Dealmaker' Role Suits Reid

Under Obama, Majority Leader no longer needs to be attacker
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2009 9:24 AM CST
In this Feb. 3 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – When George Bush was boss, Harry Reid had to play attack dog—but with Barack Obama in office, the Senate majority leader has returned to a role more comfortable to him, writes Shailagh Murray in a Washington Post profile. These days, he’s a “dealmaker”—like Obama, he aims to win bipartisan support for legislation. And he fits the post well, says Rahm Emanuel. “He knows all the senators' strengths and vulnerabilities.”

Also like Obama, the 69-year-old can be stubborn; he has stood up for earmarks in the spending bill, despite continuing attacks from both Obama and senators such as John McCain. “Harry is a person, when you cross him, he remembers," said  Sen. Charles Schumer. "But he always has a fundamental inclination to be fair.” The profile also notes that Reid was among the first, in 2005, to encourage Obama to run for president.