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Harry Reid is Simply Too Busy to be Bothered with President Ford's Funeral

Incoming Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad, Judd Gregg, Robert Bennett, and Ken Salazar are going on a junket to South America and just can't reschedule to attend former President Ford's state funeral on Friday.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will miss the state funeral for former President Gerald Ford at the Capitol Rotunda on Saturday night, opting instead to lead a delegation to South America with an expected stop at the Machu Picchu Inca ruins.


Reid, D-Nev., left Wednesday afternoon from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland with a bipartisan group of five other senators, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the incoming assistant majority leader, for what has been described as a weeklong visit to Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

The highlight of the trip is said to be separate meetings with the presidents of the three nations, with the last one scheduled in Peru on Tuesday morning.

"They would be difficult to cancel," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said via mobile phone as the congressional delegation took off in a U.S. military plane.

The senators are also scheduled to be in Cuzco, Peru, on Sunday, which would give them an opportunity to view the nearby Inca ruins and anything else in advance of New Year's Eve.

Manley said the senators opted to skip Ford-related ceremonies over the next few days because of the long-scheduled meetings with the South American presidents, noting that U.S. relations with some of the countries are in need of improvement.

One of the memorable things President Ford said upon coming into office in 1974 was this:

"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here, the people rule. ... As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the Golden Rule to our political process and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate." - On becoming president, August 1974.

The Golden Rule, which has obviously been lost on these five Senators, is to treat others as you would want them to treat you. Their decision to go on their trip rather than attend President Ford's funeral is so disrespectful, not to mention classless. However, if it had been Jimmy Carter's funeral on Friday, I have a feeling they would have had no problem rescheduling this trip.

Captain Ed is just as disgusted, especially since it's customary for the leaders of all the three branches of government to attend funerals of former presidents:

Baloney. It's not hard to cancel; all one has to do is to contact the consulates of those nations and explain that when one of our former Presidents pass away, elected leadership is expected to attend the funeral. Nor is it the case that Ford died after they left the country, as the junket started with an afternoon flight today.

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Comments (22)

I'm surprised only by the f... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

I'm surprised only by the fact that this doesn't surprise me. Too bad these people don't understand that their actions do not cast aspirsions on President Ford but on themselves.

Wonder how much $$ reids fa... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Wonder how much $$ reids family will make off of this trip. seems like they sure as hell get paid for everything else he does.

I would expect no more from... (Below threshold)
Brett:

I would expect no more from the likes of Harry Reid. Scum of the Earth. It will be very interesting to see who else doesn't show up, too.

Brett

So Reid's spokesman Manley ... (Below threshold)
marc:

So Reid's spokesman Manley says U.S. relations with some of the countries are in need of improvement.

OK

I agree! And I suggest Bush immediately send Air Force One on a flight to Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to pick up their respective Presidents so THEY and pay their respects to President Ford as he lays in State.

If he would have shown up, ... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

If he would have shown up, some folks would say he was just there for political purposes. So discussion is pretty much pointless. In my own opinion, state funerals should be reserved for very special occasions and this wouldn't qualify. IMHO, they should be reserved for presidents who die in office and that's about it. To use them too often devalues the occasion.

Tacky, but that's the Dems ... (Below threshold)
Cybrludite:

Tacky, but that's the Dems for you.

It's good to know that Illi... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

It's good to know that Illinois is so well represented in this delegation of international good will. This is how our very own Senator Durbin earned his first name.

He was a president of the U... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

He was a president of the UNited DStates. WHen he dies, he gets a state funeral, and should. When Carter dies, he gets a state funeral and I will be damn well disappointed with the republican leaders if they don't attend and show the defference due the office, when Clinton dies, I expect the same. The death of a president, current OR former, _IS_ a special occasion.

Who didn't show up for Reag... (Below threshold)
epador:

Who didn't show up for Reagan's funeral?

How about Nixon's?

This is a bad precedent for the Democrats to set.

Yeah, blackcat, because Lor... (Below threshold)

Yeah, blackcat, because Lord knows that once or twice a decade might cause burnout.
[/sarcasm]

Yeesh. Reid, et al, will be quite conspicuous in their absence. They're expected to be present. Do we think at all that the South American Presidents wouldn't understand? I'm willing to bet it will indeed cross their minds that these men didn't even try to be present.

The trip sounds unnecessary... (Below threshold)
Diane:

The trip sounds unnecessary at any time during the year (like most senatorial (Repubs & Dems) trips))--thus a waste of our tax dollars.

Could it be possible to be ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Could it be possible to be more disgusting than Durbin and Reid. What genuinely "soul-less" men.

Reid heard there was to be ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Reid heard there was to be no Bush bashing(Wellstone and King) at the funeral, so decided he would not attend.
I think the office of the President is honored more by these folks not attending.
I would like to know how this little junket is being funded, by private donors or our tax money. Either way, we need to know.

Wait a minute! who needs th... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Wait a minute! who needs these classless idiots any where.Scum seeks its own level.

Just an observation: most o... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Just an observation: most of you have had nothing to say about the 40% of those going on the trip being republicans. Not judging, just saying.

You're right, Hugh. But Rei... (Below threshold)

You're right, Hugh. But Reid is part of elected leadership all of whom are expected to attend. His absence will be particularly obvious.

What would you expect from ... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

What would you expect from such royal a$$holes.

Because we know that "40%" ... (Below threshold)

Because we know that "40%" sounds better than 2 out of six, right Hugh? Especially when rounding up from 33%.

Oyster:I stand cor... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Oyster:

I stand corrcted. Where would I be without you? When I was counting on my fingers I stopped at five. :-)

But if you don't go to othe... (Below threshold)

But if you don't go to other people's funerals, how can you expect them to come to yours?

Hmmm, let's go over that again...

Maybe some should to too bu... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Maybe some should to too busy when it comes time for HARRY REIDS funeral

Hey, you know what would be... (Below threshold)
scarshapedstar:

Hey, you know what would be really bad for all the right-wingers flogging this story? If it turned out that Bush wasn't attending either! And to make matters worse, if he wasn't even on a diplomatic/trade mission, but was just sitting on his ass in Crawford! Geez, that would make you guys look like complete jackasses.

It's a good thing Bush is... let me Google this real quick... oh dear.

President Bush will not attend weekend ceremonies including a Capitol Rotunda service, but he will return to Washington from his Texas ranch on Monday, pay respects to Ford while his remains lie in state at the Capitol, and speak Tuesday at services for Ford at the National Cathedral.

Cripes! What's next? Are we gonna find out that Saint Ronnie committed the mortal sin of criticizing a sitting President?




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