Harry Reid To Retire

I can’t say I’m surprised, but he did do a pretty good head-fake about being determined to run for a sixth term: Harry Reid has announced he will retire from the Senate next year when his current term expires. He’s 75, and still suffering from injuries received in an accident on New Year’s Day, though he says neither his age or health is forcing him to hang it all up. According to the press accounts today, he was concerned a re-election bid would soak up Democratic money needed elsewhere. He definitely had a big bullseye on his back, though his survival in 2010, when it looked like his goose was finally cooked, should have served as a warning you can never count this guy out.

We’ll soon get around to appreciations of what Reid accomplished and tried to accomplish, and an assessment of the contest to succeed him as Senate Democratic Leader (Chuck Schumer and Dick Durban are the most likely candidates). I think he will be most remembered as the Senator who finally began restricting the out-of-control use of the filibuster, though he also deserves significant credit (or blame) for how the Affordable Care Act was put together and enacted. For now we can just marvel at his long and very significant career.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.