Harry Reid announced he will retire; he looks forward to spending more time
with his family *in an armchair, staring blankly ahead and crushing walnuts with his bare hands.* Dick Durbin agreed to support Chuck Schumer as Democratic leader, likely on the condition that a Schumwich never appear in the U.S. Senate again. And President Obama called into a radio interview Reid was giving, prompting the two to gush over each other’s accomplishments. Thankfully the conversation was taken off air when they started simultaneously watching "The Breakfast Club." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, March 27th, 2015:
Today's big news.
REID ENDORSES SCHUMER FOR DEMOCRATIC LEADER - [Dick Durbin walking down a puddle-strewn street in the rain as the Charlie Brown sad piano music plays, looks at reflection in store window]. Laura Barron-Lopez: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threw his weight behind Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday to succeed him in leading Senate Democrats, The Washington Post reported. 'I think Schumer should be able to succeed me,' Reid told The Washington Post at his home in Washington. To the surprise of many, Reid announced early Friday morning his plans to retire after 2016, reasoning that he doesn't want to use up the party's resources during a pivotal election year and saying he wants to help Democrats gain back control of the Senate. Schumer is the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, behind Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who Reid predicted would stand down for Schumer." [HuffPost]
Durbin won't challenge: "A spokesman for the Illinois senator said Durbin told Schumer 'late last night that he wasn't running for leader and that Schumer has his support.' The spokesman said Durbin plans to run again for minority whip and has Reid's support."
Reminder that Dick Durbin said in 2009 that banks own the Senate.
Cue the intense feelings of spiritual emptiness: "[D]owntown [is] buzzing this morning about potential top recruits from the Nevada Democrat's office and also what it means for former Reid staffers who have already established themselves on K Street in recent years. 'The staffers working on health care and energy issues will be in big demand,' headhunter Ivan Adler, principal of The McCormick Group, told PI...Chris Jones, president of another headhunting firm CapitolWorks added: 'I'm bullish on Minority Leader Reid. The brand name of working with Harry Reid has always been in demand...Many of them suspected he would be retiring and had already begun their outreach, and K Street had begun their outreach to them,' Jones said." [Politico]
Tammy Duckworth will announce a Senate bid against Mark Kirk, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
First time caller, long time passive listener at leadership breakfasts: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has been doing a series of interviews since announcing his retirement earlier today. And, in an appearance on KNPR this morning, a surprise guest called in -- President Obama. 'Harry, this is Barack.' Obama said. 'Well, I'll be damned,' Reid responded. 'Are you allowed to say that on live radio?' the president teased. Obama went on to praise Reid for his 'curmudgeonly charm,' and for not forgetting his roots in Searchlight, Nevada." [Vox]
REID'S CLASSIC 2012 MOMENT - Sam Stein remembers: "During the tail end of an interview in July 2012, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked about Mitt Romney’s reluctance to release his tax returns. The question was whether, in some hypothetical universe, the Senate would confirm a nominee without further disclosure of his personal finances. 'Not a chance, no, not a chance,' Reid said, taking the bait. And then, without prompting, he went further. First came a deeply personal attack on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 'His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son.' Then, a truly provocative jab. 'He didn't pay taxes for 10 years!' said Reid, his soft-pitched voice getting more animated… Days later, Reid would go to the floor of the United States Senate. 'Word is out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years,' Reid declared, without any acknowledgement that it was he who had put out said word." [HuffPost]
Never did get to see those returns...
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT TO FIGHT FOR DIVERSITY - HuffPost Hill's erstwhile Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist has spent his retirement slaving away in his subterranean panic room on a line of government relations-themed t-shirts (top seller: "U mad, Breaux?"). But PSLGOPL couldn't resist chiming in about the shakeup atop the Senate Democratic leadership. So PSLGOPL put his current project on hold ("Pimpin' Gillespie Associates") and sent us a note. "PSLGOPL supports the only black Democrat in the whole U.S. Senate for leader, Cory Booker," PSLGOPL writes. "And if Booker won't do it," PSLGOPL supports the only Hispanic Democratic senator... if he's still around." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Scott Walker not talker, Dylan Byers reports: "Last month, Scott Walker seemed readily available to any reporter who had a question for him. He was basking in the limelight, holding media scrums and granting impromptu interviews. But in the wake of a few controversial, headline-grabbing quotes about evolution and President Obama's religion, the Wisconsin governor and likely Republican presidential candidate has put brakes on his media availability, reporters who follow him say." Guess he's evolving. [Politico]
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CRUZ TO APPEAR WITH UFO CONSPIRACY THEORIST - John Podesta? Oh. Never mind. Scott Conroy: "There is no more provocative figure within New Hampshire Republican politics than Jack Kimball, so it is perhaps fitting that Kimball’s new conservative interest group is playing host to Sen. Ted Cruz’s first official event as a presidential candidate. On Friday afternoon, the Texas senator is slated to make his initial post-announcement stop in this southern New Hampshire town at an event being held by the Conservative Business League of New Hampshire, a new organization that launched last week. Kimball is the most prominent of the five individuals on CBL’s steering committee and has been quoted as a leader of the group….He is an avid social media user whose publicly accessible Facebook page serves as a repository for warnings about government takeovers, imminent wars with foreign nations and UFO sightings." [HuffPost]
@ScottConroy: File under "things I've never seen on the trail": Cruz just entered his first 2016 event in NH wearing a headset mic.
GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES NOW JUST TAKING TURNS BEATING UP ON DC - T-minus 20 days until Lindsey Graham is proposing a bill that forbids that brass ensemble from performing in Dupont at rush hour. Roll Call: "Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio introduced a bill Thursday aimed at loosening the District of Columbia’s gun laws...The text states that D.C.’s regulations prevent citizens from protecting themselves against violent crime. 'For years, the District of Columbia has infringed on its residents’ Second Amendment rights and rendered them vulnerable to criminals who could care less what the gun laws are,' Rubio said in a statement....According to their release, the bill would “remove the authority of the D.C. Council to enact restrictive gun control measures;” allow D.C. residents to buy guns in Maryland and Virginia; repeal the District’s firearm registration system; create a permitting system for carrying concealed weapons; and allow 'private entities and secure public buildings' to determine whether guns are allowed on their property." [Roll Call]
MORE LIKE… WAAAAHHHH STREET - Emily Flitter: "Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said." [Reuters]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a newborn gorilla.
NORTON SIGNING UP FOR PARKING LESSONS - This stemming from her terrible parking job that was caught on camera and proved that there are actually people in the D.C. metro area who drive worse than Maryland residents. The Hill: "Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) has agreed to sign up for parking lessons after video of her disastrous parking job outside of the Capitol went viral this week. Holmes Norton told My Fox D.C. that she was rushing because she was late for a television interview and didn’t expect that construction would force her to park in a slanted parking spot...'Deadline, no way to get there, got to get it done,' she said. 'I have signed up for parking lessons and I’m even thinking about upgrading to a self-parking car.'" [The Hill]
- Guy bothers his coworkers with dad jokes.
- Black-and-white Teletubbies will give you nightmares.
- An unplugged cover of the Super Mario Bros theme.
publication: It’s probably time to primary any Dem who doesn’t want Warren for Senate leader.
@StevenTDennis: Schumer factoid: Man invented warding off reporters with flip-phone-to-ear maneuver
@SimonMaloy: When senators retire:
Opposing party committee: ADIOS, SHITHEEL!
Opposing party senator from same state: S/he was a fine public servant.
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