Skip to content

Searchlight … Again (Sorry)

Yes, it’s hard to bring up Harry Reid without telling yet another anecdote about tiny Searchlight, Nev., the Senate Minority Leader’s hometown. In fact, Searchlight looms so large in Reid’s rhetoric that ignoring it may well be impossible. The latest hidden chapter from the Searchlight chronicles comes as an addendum to the tale of the mini-stroke Reid suffered over the August recess. [IMGCAP(1)]

The 65-year-old Nevada Democrat went on the Senate floor Tuesday to thank all of his wellwishers and report that he is doing fine,

feeling great and has no medical restrictions whatsoever in the wake of his dizziness episode on Aug. 16. He also wanted everyone to know: It was the first time he’s been hospitalized in 57 years, since he was 8 years old.

And he barely made it to the hospital then. (Cue scene of young Harry Reid walking the dusty streets of Searchlight crying in pain.) Reid got “deathly ill” when he was 8, his spokewoman Tessa Hafen tells HOH. He was in terrible pain, but there were no doctors in Searchlight. Finally, Hafen says, “someone from town was headed to Las Vegas” and gave poor little Harry a ride to the hospital. There, doctors removed the boy’s appendix.

Now you know: The Minority Leader has no appendix anymore.

Another factoid: One of his favorite get-well cards last month came from Jack Carter, former President Jimmy Carter’s son. Carter and his wife, Elizabeth, wrote, “Harry, go just hard enough to keep the pressure on ’em. But not so hard you die! We need you up there.”

Katrina Fundraisers. Several area hot spots are participating in the nationwide “Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour” on Monday. Local bars, including Bangkok Joe’s, Gazuza and Cloud Dining Lounge, among others, will be serving up hurricanes, Sazeracs and other classic N’awlins libations for $10 a pop to benefit the destroyed city’s displaced bartenders and waiters.

The coast-to-coast “happy hour” is being sponsored by the soon-to-be launched DC Style magazine and the Museum of the American Cocktail, based in the French Quarter, the party bastion of New Orleans that stayed relatively dry amid the flooded ruins. As museum president Dale DeGroff says, “Laissez les bon temps roulez! Let the good times roll toward a brighter future!”

Whoopsy Daisy. Maybe it was multiple-choice quiz day for new interns at the Republican National Committee. Or maybe the finance people need to keep a Congressional directory handy.

The RNC’s invitation for its upcoming fall national meeting next week included a letter from RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman praising donors for their help and inviting them to join the lofty President’s Club at a cut rate. It also included an agenda for the Sept. 14 program. Check-in, breakfast, a speech from this person, another speech from that person and then, a Congressional panel. That’s the part that looked like an intern had really failed the multiple choice test.

Participating Members on morning panel were listed as:

“Congressman Bobby Jindal (FL)

Congressman Patrick McHenry (LA)

Congressman Jim Nussle (NC)

Congressman Adam Putnam (IA)”

Obviously, something got a little scrambled. RNC officials honorably refuse to blame the interns, as they easily could have done. “I wish I could tell you this was the result of some psychedelic redistricting scheme or a lame practical joke, but the truth is it’s good old fashioned human error,” said one RNC official who requested anonymity so as not to embarrass the offender.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to