Politics

Reid Assumes Cory Booker Will Win Special Election #NJSEN

Reid assumes Booker will come to the Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid portrayed Newark Mayor Cory Booker's election to the Senate as a foregone conclusion and gushed with encouragement for Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016 in a recent interview.

The Nevada Democrat was pressed about the lack of black senators in the wake of President Barack Obama's comments last week on Trayvon Martin.

"Oh, just hold your breath," Reid told PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff in an interview, parts of which aired Wednesday. "Cory Booker’s on his way from New Jersey. And that’ll happen in October."

Booker is leading most polls for the decisive Aug. 13 Democratic primary against Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Rush D. Holt and state Speaker Sheila Oliver.

Looking past that race, he also described himself as "a cheerleader" for a Hillary Rodham Clinton 2016 presidential run.

"Hillary Clinton may have a bigger fan than Harry Reid; I just don’t know who it would be," he said. Reid encouraged then-Sen. Barack Obama to run against Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

"I think that what she did as a senator, what she did as secretary of State will go down in history books as a remarkable, remarkable job that she did," he added.

And in one exchange, he indicated Clinton might do a "better" job as president than Obama.

Reid: I, of course, have such admiration for the president. Remember, the last three or four years he was here we reduced the debt and created 22 million jobs – pretty good deal. And I think that they’re a pretty good team, but she’ll handle things probably even better than he did.

Woodruff: Oh, is that right? Even better?

Reid: Oh, yeah.