By Brent Budowsky - 09/13/10 10:33 PM EDT
In one of the greatest speeches ever given by an American president, Theodore Roosevelt said that it is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
Roosevelt continued: The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who errs and comes short again and again; who at his best knows high achievement and at his worst fails after daring greatly.
Teddy Roosevelt would not be proud of our politics today, which is dominated by critics, opiners, blowhards, gasbags, partisans, extremists, courtiers, spinners, hacks, Islam-bashers, demagogues, those who gouge the system for profit or vanity from the inside and those who utter sweet nothings from the grandstands.
I think Teddy Roosevelt would like Harry Reid, the ultimate man at the center of the arena. Roosevelt would say to all Democrats: Fight harder. Roosevelt would say to Republicans what he said when he left the Republicans to lead the Bull Moose party.
I have talked to Harry Reid about creating jobs at 6:30 in the morning, well after his workday had begun, and I’ve talked to Reid about helping veterans at 7 o’clock at night, long before his workday would end.
In a politics where so many claim credit for things they never did, Reid fails to get credit for things he has done. He is criticized from the grandstands because he is not eloquent touting himself, and attacked by partisans who believe jobless workers are lazy, while he was fighting successfully for jobless benefits.
Harry Reid led Senate Democrats to a large majority in historic elections, while Senate Republicans obstruct everything to negate those elections, which has never been done in the history of the republic. Voters who want more action to create more jobs should vote for more Harry Reids, and fewer Senate Republicans.
The list of projects that Harry Reid has pushed to help Nevada is far too long to list here. No other senator from Nevada could have killed the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump site. Reid’s battle for a $600 million VA hospital in North Las Vegas will prevent many Nevada vets from being forced to journey to California for care.
Reid has mobilized substantial investment for new energy business in Nevada, which will create thousands of jobs. He passed a provision that protected 30,000 jobs at Harrah’s for Nevada alone. He saved 20,000 jobs at CityCenter. He helped create 6,000 jobs to promote statewide tourism to the nation and the world.
Harry Reid is no saint, but while he was leading Senate Democrats to majority status and rising to majority leader he was passing more bills, to create more jobs in Nevada, than everyone else in the Nevada congressional delegation put together.
Harry Reid stands like Roosevelt’s man in the arena, marred by the dust and sweat and blood that comes with the territory, doing what senators are elected to do.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.