Back in Bill Clinton’s first term as president, his tax increase passed the senate by a single vote that was supplied by Nevada’s Lightweight Harry Reid in a deal that Virginia’s estimable Lighthorse Harry Lee never would have made.
And therein hangs a tale to which Kerr Mudgeon became privy by coincidence.
It seems that a few days before the senate vote, the President was visiting the San Francisco Bay Area and the dingy Nevadan was visiting his home state. The senator was offered a chance to fly back to Washington on Air Force One. But time was short and the only flight that might get Senator Reid from Las Vegas to the Bay Area in time to have any chance of being able to take advantage of the opportunity would arrive in one Bay Area airport only shortly before the President was scheduled to depart from an airport on the other side of the bay.
A prominent Nevadan phoned K.R. and asked him to shuttle Senator Reid from one airport to the other. K.R. did so, enduring about an hour of dismal conversation that revealed the future senate majority leader to be a man with little hope of rising to the level of mediocrity. He was a pathetic wormlike whiner who throughout the drive complained about the upcoming vote on the controversial bill, explaining that he was being pressed by his constituents to oppose the tax increase proposal and by the administration and his party to support it.
The transcontinental ride on Air Force One -- which Kerr later learned is the ultimate perk for the inside-the-beltway crowd -- apparently cinched the deal. Both Lightweight Harry and his constituents got taken for a ride . . . as did the rest of us.