The Mostly Silent Majority
Harry Reid evidently subscribes to the maxim that freshman senators, like children, should be seen but not heard.
The wiry Senate majority leader, now sitting on a fat majority, took his newly elected senators out for some show and tell this afternoon in front of the television lights. But to the bafflement of the 200 or so journalists waiting outside the Senate chamber for the big moment, Reid did not let any of the six senators-elect speak. He did not even introduce
them. They merely stood silently behind him as Reid delivered a brief speech about himself.
"Having been the majority leader for the last two years, many times with no majority, this is an exciting time for me," the majority leader said. "I'm so excited, so pleased and so happy to have a real majority now. We've just had a nice visit in my office. We exchanged a few pleasantries about the campaign."
Reid's entire 144-word statement, start to finish, lasted 51 seconds.
The Democratic senators-elect -- Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Mark Warner of Virginia, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and cousins Tom Udall of New Mexico and Mark Udall of Colorado -- entered obediently in a two-by-two Noah's-Ark-style procession, stood behind Reid in the doorway, then removed themselves as soon as Reid finished. They, like their leader, ignored all the questions shouted at them about a bailout for the auto industry.
Why so shy? Maybe it's because, as Republicans pointed out, five of the six freshman Democratic senators opposed the initial bailout bill Congress passed.
Things weren't much looser out in Chicago, where Obama received his vanquished opponent, John McCain. Here is the full transcript of Obama's remarks:
QUESTION: Can we ask you what the goal is for the meeting beyond symbolic?
OBAMA: Just going to have a good conversation about how we can work together to fix up the country and -- and also to offer thanks to Senator McCain for the outstanding service he's already rendered.
QUESTION: Senator, it was a tough campaign...
OBAMA: All right, we're not -- we're not going to do a long one.
STAFF: Thanks, guys.
OBAMA: Thanks, guys.
Posted by: Bud0 | November 17, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dijetlo | November 17, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 17, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ahopewell55 | November 17, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wj_phillips | November 17, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.