Harry Reid, a twenty-first century Senate titan.
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
The death of Harry Reid from pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, five years after his retirement from a 30-year career in the U.S. Senate, removed from this world one of those legendary figures whose life could have formed the plot of a pretty good western novel. He was Senate Democratic leader for 12 eventful years from 2005 until 2017, a tenure that was accompanied by a steady rise in partisan polarization. Reid was an unapologetic and fiercely combative partisan, without losing the respect of his many foes in Nevada and in Washington. Most of all, his life and career were testaments to the power of persistence in adversity.