Majority Leader Harry Reid Outsources Amazon Tracking
All authors share one obsession: constantly checking their Amazon rankings. Some do it each hour, others every other hour. And yet others, like Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), have the luxury of delegating the task.
Reid held his premiere book party Tuesday night at Wolfgang Puck's chic new downtown restaurant, The Source, adjoining the Newseum, where hundreds of politicians, journalists, lobbyists and other gladhanders turned out to celebrate publication of the former boxer cum Senate majority leader's new book "The Good Fight."
Asked how book sales were going, Reid clutched his hands together and in his soft-spoken voice said, "Well, all the money is going to charity." Asked how high his Amazon ranking had gotten, he immediately answered in a more authoritative tone, "32." (Reid presumably got a little boost from his appearance on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" last week. His "32" ranking was where his book sales stood in the category of political science books, not his overall ranking on Amazon.)
But the senator says he personally has only checked his Amazon ranking once. "I have Susan check," he said.
Susan is Susan McCue, Reid's longtime key advisor and trusted top aide, who, as always, was front and center at Tuesday night's fette. McCue tells us she "check(s) Amazon every day" -- countless times, no doubt -- for the senator. And this morning, she emailed us to report: "It's at #18 in bios now."
Fellow Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) was the only GOP senator we spotted, unless you count Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). But lots of Democratic senators, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) came out.
Also attending last night was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose own book, "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters" is due out in July. Not that the two Democratic leaders would ever be competing or anything -- never, of course -- but Pelosi's book is currently ranked at 141,765; Reid's is listed at 2,147. (We expect Pelosi's Amazon ranking to shoot up once the book is actually published, so stay tuned to see whether the House leader or the Senate leader will sell more books, not that there's a contest between two of them or anything.)
Reid gave a very brief speech at the party, summing up his book by saying, "In America, if I can make it, anyone can."
The majority leader's book chronicles his rise from a hardscrabble childhood in the tiny mining town of Searchlight, not far from Las Vegas, where he dealt with two alcoholic parents and a father (who ultimately committed suicide) who abused his mother, to a lawyer battling the mafia, to the top leadership position in the U.S. Senate.
And, of course, he writes about one of the more infamous stories of his youth: punching out his future father-in-law, who was trying to stand in the way of young Harry, or "Pinky" as he was known as a child, marrying his daughter.
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