In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal published Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) predicted Democrats will benefit from the death of his Senate colleague, Sen. Edward Kennedy:
Despite poll numbers to the contrary, Reid also believes the August recess has actually improved Democrats' chances of passing health care reform in the near future:
Q: How will U.S. Sen. (Edward) Kennedy's death affect things?
A: I think it's going to help us. He hasn't been around for some time. We're going to have a new chairman of that committee, it'll be, I don't know for sure, but I think Sen. (Chris) Dodd, (D-Conn.). He has a right to take it. Either him or (U.S. Sen. Tom) Harkin, (D-Iowa), whichever one wants it can have it. I think he (Kennedy) will be a help. He's an inspiration for us. That was the issue of his life and he didn't get it done.
For one thing I think the American people have seen the wrongness of trying to interrupt meetings and yell and scream at people. That's lost a lot of its pizzazz. I think its given time for members to contemplate what's important. We can talk to our constituents. I've traveled the state talking to people. I think they've been very constructive meetings.