Kiss off all that power?

You know how many U.S. presidents have come from Nevada? Zero. You know how many vice presidents have come from Nevada? Zero. Speakers of the House? Again, zilch. You know how many Senate majority leaders have been Nevadans? One.

Using just this factoid, I’ll take the position that Harry Reid is the most powerful Nevada politician EVER. It’s not, I’ll admit, inarguable. I’m sure there would be those who would assert that Paul Laxalt would still have to be considered as M.P.N.P.E. It’s not silly to say, since Laxalt, while never being the Majority/Minority Leader per se, was well known to be one of Ron Reagan’s tightest pals, and as such was a wielder of considerable influence. Whatever.

My point is, simply, no matter how pissed you are at Reid, and it appears that quite a few Nevadans are, you still have to cop to the fact that this guy is a serious heavy hitter in this country’s hierarchy right now, and it just may behoove those who are all slobbered up to toss him out of office to respect that fact a little. This is the guy who sits right next to the POTUS for the weekly White House Flapjack Breakfast Party. In the overall scheme of power in this country, that’s not a trifle.

Case in point. In March, a consortium of companies announced plans to build a rather large wind turbine manufacturing plant in Clark County. This consortium includes a major Chinese “green energy” manufacturer, A-Power Inc. For a whole lot of Vegasoids right now, the good news about this decision isn’t about “a green wave of wind power for the future,” it’s about the prospect of a pretty damn good-paying job. The plan is for the plant to be 320,000 square feet in size and to employ around 1,000 people. I’m guessing numbers like these are fairly precious in Vegas these days.

Now call me a lifelong Democrat if you must, but something tells me that the reality that Harry Reid is the number one man in the Senate and became actively involved in the discussions with the Chinese about locating this factory in Nevada didn’t exactly hurt our chances of beaching this extremely valuable whale. (Why don’t I remove all guessing here, and quote the LV Sun that “the partners credited Senator Harry Reid for their decision to locate the plant in Nevada.”) I’m wondering if Sue Lowden or Tark’s kid could muster up the kind of oomph, clout and respect that could ensure that such a project would end up in Nevada as opposed to Arizona, California or Texas. Color me skeptical. Harry’s a player. He knows the ropes. And you have to ask—is he that much of a “problem” that we can just blow him up and stick a punchless rookie in his place? Wouldn’t all this frothing and foaming to change one of our senators be better directed in 2012 at the infinitely more expendable Mr. Ensign?