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President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid seem to have worked in harmony, leading the Democratic Party since Obama was elected in 2008.
However, a recent story by New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz highlights how the two leaders aren’t always in sync.
When talking to KNPR’s State of Nevada, Horowitz pointed out that Senator Reid’s office has been vocal about what they feel are shortcomings in the Obama Administration, including the feeling that the president hasn’t shown enough backbone during confrontations with Republicans.
The article profiles a Reid staffer who the president has accused of leaking information to the media. David Krone is a close confidant of Senator Reid, but he has also made some people in the White House very upset.
Reid met Krone when he was a cable television executive and the pair clicked. Krone ascended through the ranks and is now closer to the senator than anyone else, Horowitz said.
Krone has blasted President Obama publicly, blaming him for not helping Democrats during the run-up to the mid-term elections, which is something that is rarely, if ever, done.
Horowitz said that when the president called Reid to confront him about leaks to the media during the government shutdown, Krone was listening on the speakerphone and responded.
President Obama called Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, to broach a particularly delicate subject. It was during last year’s government shutdown and standoff with Republicans, but Mr. Obama’s frustration focused on one of their own. The president said he suspected David Krone, Mr. Reid’s intensely loyal and influential top aide, of leaking to the news media, and requested that he stay away from future meetings.
It did not take much time for the president’s comments to reach Mr. Reid’s right-hand man. To Mr. Obama’s surprise, Mr. Krone was listening in on the call. Suddenly, the aide piped up and made it clear to the president that he did not appreciate the accusation.
Horowitz said the story shows how close the pair are and how much Reid has empowered Krone. He said talking back to the president is still just not done in Washington, but Krone did it.
Horowitz doesn’t think Krone was going rogue and he is not upsetting Reid by leaking some information.
Following that incident Krone disappeared completely from Capitol Hill, which was a bit of a mystery. Krone said he was suffering splitting headaches and had to stay home sick.
Some people consider Krone a “manipulative megalomaniac,” but for others he is “hero” who has the freedom to speak his mind.
None of the criticism to his “right-hand man” is getting through to Reid, according Horowitz.
“He is so 100 percent behind David Krone his reaction to [criticism] was actual anger to the White House staffers who complained about David Krone,” Horowitz said.
He quoted Reid as saying, “’David Krone is my guy.’”
Horowitz believes the story of Krone shows the power of Washington staffers.
“Those are the people who are somewhat invisible to the public at large but staffers actually matter,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz said most staffers just whisper into the ear of the senator or congressman they work for, but Krone speaks up, often to the chagrin of others.
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