Harry Reid's Story: 13 Brothels, No Churches


Big news today. And no, it's not that Rev. Jesse Jackson ate at the same restaurant that I did –D.C. Coast–or that Scooter Libby lunched at a sidewalk table down the street in the much more working-class Sizzling Express.

No, the big news is that the busiest guy in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, is going to find some time to write his autobiography. His goal in the still-untitled book due out next spring: to explain his tiny, poor home of Searchlight, Nev., to Washington.

"If I can do nothing greater in this book than explain those two places to each other, then I will have done something important," he said in a statement. Here's how he explained little Searchlight: "13 brothels and no churches." No wonder he's a politician. Anyway, G. P. Putnam's Sons bought the book, and it will be cowritten by Esquire Executive Editor Mark Warren. Putnam offered us a couple of quotes:

"Senator Reid: "I am honored and pleased to be working with such a distinguished publisher as G.P. Putnam's Sons on this book. Sometimes the long journey from the little town in the Nevada desert called Searchlight to Washington, D.C., seems strange, even to me. But the hard lessons I learned in that town guide me every day as we now confront the great crises of today–issues of war and peace and of essential American values and of the future of the planet. That's what this book will be about."

Editor Warren: "Harry Reid knows more about hard work than anyone I've ever met, and he is a character of many moods and of great dimension. His story is an impossible and inspiring and instructive story, a story of longer-than-long odds, one of those stories that could only have been made in America." Normally, politicians write these kind of stories when they are planning presidential bids, though Reid seems content manning the Senate. But let's think about him as a vice presidential candidate in 2008 for a minute. Now the book makes sense.