Heard on the Hill

Harry Reid: Newspaper Columnist?

Retiring Senate Democratic leader ponders his next act

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is pondering a second career as a political columnist. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid is looking for work.

The retiring Nevada Democrat and Senate minority leader — who was also a gaming commissioner and a police officer long ago — is talking up his prospects for a new career as a newspaper columnist.

“I’ve been hustling. I’ve been seeing if I can write an op-ed column every day, not once in a while, and place it in The New York Times, The Washington Post, [the] Sun newspaper in Las Vegas, but I haven’t gotten any takers on that yet,” Reid said, when asked about his retirement plans.

He did not see fit to write for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which is owned by conservative megadonor and casino owner Sheldon Adelson.

“I didn’t mention it, did I?” Reid said.

But there is a new entrant in Nevada media that has caught Reid’s attention.

“Ralston’s starting a new organization, maybe he’ll hire me,” Reid said of longtime Silver State political journalist and commentator Jon Ralston’s plan to launch a new nonprofit news operation called The Nevada Independent.

“He said his farewell in the Reno paper today and said he’s going to start a new organization, so I should reach out to Jon. I’ll bet — he could use me,” the retiring senator said.

As for whether the political operation that Reid built in the state intends to compete in the 2018 Senate race against incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller after taking two competitive House seats, holding Reid’s Senate seat and winning big in the state legislature this year, Reid said that was for other Nevada Democrats to decide

“The Reid machine, there’s a foundation for that, but Reid is going to be doing other things,” he said.

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