Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is still a liar, and if he wanted to protect himself and his party from that shame, he ought to stay away from television cameras.
Alas, Reid was the lone guest on NBC's Meet the Press [transcript], and moderator David Gregory was not shy about the questions he asked. But I had to uncover the most brazen lie myself.
Gregory asked Reid about charges reported at Politico.com this morning that he had called Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to make known that he would not accept Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., Representative Danny Davis, or Illinois Senate President Emil Jones to fill the vacant Obama seat. Those men are all black. Instead, Reid asked for either Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth, a Thai-American, or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is white.
I have--anyone that suggests there's any racial bias in this instance doesn't realize I went to the Clark County district attorney's office to find a nobody -- people thought was a nobody – to become a federal judge, Johnnie Rawlinson. She was a great judge. She's now on the Ninth Circuit. I did that myself. So anyone to suggest anything racial is part of the Blagojevich spin to take away from the corruption that's involved his office in Illinois.
Harry Reid is still a liar.
According to Reid's hometown Las Vegas Review-Journal, that "nobody" African American woman was not Reid's first choice for that judgeship (U.S. District Court for Nevada). His actual first choice was U.S. Attorney Kathryn Landreth, a white woman, who asked that her name be withdrawn so she could do other things.
Harry Reid did not boldly march down to a district attorney's office and select an African American with no reputation to be a federal judge because he felt it was the noble and just thing to do; rather, Rawlinson's name came up after Reid's first choice turned him down.
In this morning's Politico.com article, a spokesman for Roland Burris, Blago's designated Obama replacement, had this to say:
“It’s interesting that all those who are viable [to Reid for the Obama seat] are white women and the ones who are unacceptable are black men,” Prince Riley, a senior consultant to Burris, told Politico.
And he hadn't heard Reid's Rawlinson claim.
On MTP, Reid reacted to Riley's statement in this manner:
I have no idea who Prince Riley is. But I do know that I've served in the United States Senate with two outstanding senators, Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama, both African-Americans from the state of Illinois.
This story does not charge Harry Reid with racism; rather, it reflects Blago being Blago-in-trouble. This point is that Harry Reid lied about Judge Rawlinson. And he called her a nobody. (We can say what we will about the Ninth Circuit, but they go to great lengths to assure the country loudly that they are not "nobodies.")
Harry Reid is still a liar.