Reid Faces Battles In Washington And At Home

Harry Reid was hoarse and hacking, drawn and more stooped than usual on a Sunday morning 12 days before Christmas. It was not yet noon, and Reid was in his second-floor corner office in an empty United States Capitol. He had arrived to bad news. Joseph Lieberman, the independent Connecticut senator, had announced on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he would not support the Senate health care plan, which meant that Reid did not have the 60 votes he needed. Lieberman's announcement, which torpedoed a compromise that Reid helped to midwife, caught the Senate majority leader by surprise. Reid had spoken with Lieberman two days earlier, and one of Lieberman's top aides participated in the Saturday-afternoon conference call that Reid orchestrates for Democratic senators who will be appearing on the Sunday talk shows. "He double-crossed me," Reid said stiffly, associates later recounted. "Let's not do what he wants. Let the bill just go down."...