Reid: Kennedy's Death "Going to Help Us" on Health Care

Posted: Aug 31, 2009 2:42 PM
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:
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.
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:
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.