One of the most compelling stories in national politics is the extraordinary role of Senator Harry Reid (D - Nev.), the Senate Majority Leader, who will need the parliamentary talents of Disraeli and the magical skills of Houdini to navigate the convoluted political situation in Washington.
Reid is now effectively playing the role of Prime Minister, trying to enact the programs of a Democratic president facing a strongly partisan and ideologically rightist Republican House and a narrow and weak Democratic majority in the Senate.
Harry Reid has one very powerful weapon: he understands the pain and suffering of the jobless in a cruel economy. He feels the powerful human impact of winning a campaign that virtually everyone believed he would lose, in a hard hit state where he came to viscerally identify with and champion the cause of those who suffer.
In this sense Reid's experience in 2010 is similar to the experiential growth of Robert Kennedy. For a full discussion of Harry Reid's extraordinary role in our divided government and his passion about fighting for jobs, my full column in The Hill newspaper can be read here.