POLITICS

We Wanted To Know What Makes Harry Reid Tick. So We Boozed Up His Former Aides

02/13/2015 11:02 am ET | Updated Feb 13, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Harry Reid's career is at a crossroads. His eight years as Senate majority leader came to a dramatic end this year, following a 2014 midterm cycle waged, in part, over his management of the chamber. A nasty accident while using an exercise machine in January left him with a number of broken ribs and broken bones in his face. It's unclear whether he will regain sight in his right eye.

And yet, he remains defiant, spearheading his minority party to derail high-profile Republican priorities on immigration and energy policy. The Nevada Democrat has also triumphantly declared that he will run for re-election in 2016, despite persistent chatter otherwise. Should he win, he will be 83 years old by the end of that term.

To understand what makes someone like Reid tick, "Drinking & Talking" decided to go to the source. No, Reid wouldn't come on the show, though we asked. But three of his former aides did.

Over booze and shrimp, Penny Lee, a former Reid senior adviser who's now at Venn Strategies; Rodell Mollineau, a former staff director for Reid; and Ari Rabin-Havt, host of "The Agenda" on SiriusXM and Reid's former liaison to the progressive community, discussed their former boss, from his strategic mindset to his telephone etiquette to his relationships with the president and his fellow senators. In the process, we answered the question of why, in the wake of personal injury and professional loss, Reid can’t help but keep going.

Watch the video above. Here's an index of key moments in the discussion:

00:22 -- What it's like to work for Harry Reid
01:55 -- Getting Obamacare over the goal line
03:48 -- Holding the progressive movement together
05:50 -- The telephone habits of Senate majority leaders
06:57 -- Winning, and losing, the majority
08:26 -- Master of parliamentary procedure
09:37 -- Changing the rules of the filibuster
13:09 -- Who does Harry Reid confide in?
14:51 -- Reid and Obama, through the years
17:30 -- Beating Sharron Angle
20:48 -- How does Reid view his legacy?

Listen to the audio, or download it, below.


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