In breaking news, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced on Friday he does not plan to seek reelection in 2016. Reid also endorsed New York Sen. Charles Schumer to succeed him in the Senate leadership.
Reid made the announcement of his retirement in a video posted on Twitter and YouTube, noting that the bruises on his face from a recent fall were “nothing,” but continuing to say that “this accident has caused us for the first time to have a little bit of downtime … time to ponder and to think.”
Obama calls into NPR interview with Reid
Reid was just getting started with an interview on NPR on Friday morning when President Obama called into the show to say that Reid was “one of my best partners and best friends.”
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“Harry is unique and he’s got that curmudgeonly charm that is hard to replace,” Obama explained to Nevada Public Radio. “I’m going to miss him. But the good thing is that I’m going to leave this place at the same time.”
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Reid said when he was told Obama had called into the interview.
More on Harry Reid’s retirement
A Friday CNN article notes that Reid was expecting a tough reelection fight, and he says in his video that he feels it would be “inappropriate” for him to “soak up all those resources” while Democrats have a good chance to take back the Senate. Reid points out that quite a few of the Democrats’ top targets are in big, expensive states, highlighting Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida and Maryland as examples.
“The decision I made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, and it has nothing to do with my being majority leader, and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be reelected, because the path to reelection is much easier than it probably has been any time that I’ve run for reelection,” he said in the video.
>A longtime Reid staffer told CNN that Reid actually made the decision to retire with his family around the holidays, but told his staff that he wanted two months or so to be sure before going public.
After his accident exercising on the first of the year, he was more sure that he should retire. He hesitated, however, because he didn’t want it to look like he retired because of his injury.