Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Idaho native Bruce Reed, a former aide to two U.S. presidents and a vice-president, was the keynote speaker Monday night for the 17th annual awards banquet sponsored by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Rights.
Reed recalled being in a planning meeting with President Bill Clinton. Clinton told him he should "pickled and put in the Smithsonian" because he was such a rare breed: an Idaho Democrat.
Reed, a native of Coeur d’Alene, now serves as the president of the Broad Education Foundation located in California. He co-authored with Rahm Emanuel, currently the Mayor of Chicago, the book The Plan: Big Ideas for America.
Growing up a Democratic activist in conservative Idaho shaped Bruce Reed’s life in national politics, much of it spent in the White House and on the campaign trail, reports S-R reporter Scott Maben. “Out here I learned that you can’t take anybody’s vote for granted. You have to earn it,” Reed told a roomful of Idaho lawyers and judges Thursday in Coeur d’Alene.
Addressing the Idaho State Bar’s annual meeting, the 53-year-old Lake City native and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his childhood, early days in politics and nearly three decades of working in Washington, D.C. “The truth is, almost everything that I know about the way I see the world comes from what I learned growing up here,” he said; you can read Maben’s full report here at spokesman.com.
Growing up a Democratic activist in conservative Idaho shaped Bruce Reed’s life in national politics, much of it spent in the White House and on the campaign trail. “Out here I learned that you can’t take anybody’s vote for granted. You have to earn it,” Reed told a roomful of Idaho lawyers and judges Thursday in Coeur d’Alene. Addressing the Idaho State Bar’s annual meeting, the 53-year-old Lake City native and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his childhood, early days in politics and nearly three decades of working in Washington, D.C. “The truth is, almost everything that I know about the way I see the world comes from what I learned growing up here,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: How did your birth place shape you?
In this Aug. 3, 2011, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff Bruce Reed has lunch with President Barack Obama in Washington. Reed, a Coeur d'Alene High graduate and son of Scott and Mary Lou Reed of Fernan, will speak at the Idaho Bar Association convention Coeur d'Alene Thursday morning. Story here. Also, he's the subject of Chris Carlson's latest column below. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Without question the most powerful and influential native Idahoan on the national political scene today is Bruce Reed. He currently is Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was once the executive director of the Simpson/Bowles Commission charged with addressing America’s fiscal challenges, and headed up the Democratic Leadership Council which is where he first met President Bill Clinton. President Clinton made him director of domestic policy and Reed became one of the President’s must trusted advisors. … More on that in a moment. Besides being exceptionally bright, Reed is also a gifted writer and superb maker of memorable phrases. No doubt this is partly a function of his obtaining an M.A. in English Literature while attending Oxford on a prestigious Rhodes scholarship/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Have you ever met or talked to Coeur d'Alene High grad Bruce Reed, chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden?
Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman (pictured in inset) is correct when he posts that cherry-red Idaho has a great deal of influence at the table in the next administration of Barack Obama:
Two Idahoans have very large seats at the table of executive power after Tuesday. Jim Messina, who grew up in Boise and graduated from Boise High School led Obama’s reelection campaign that observers said used a mix of behavioral science and technology to identify and get out to vote a new crop of voters to the coalition. He has now kept his election victory record intact since he ran a campaign for former Missoula Mayor Dan Kemmis in 1993. The sky seems to be the limit for his future. Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Bruce Reed grew up in Coeur D’ Alene, the son of environmental attorney Scott Reed and former Democratic Senator Mary Lou Reed. He was credited by former President Bill Clinton as co-author of his powerful convention speech that energized Democratic activists. More here.
Question: Did you know the most influential political figures in Idaho are Democrats?
On his Facebook wall, opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman mentions the props that former President Bill Clinton game former Coeur d'Alene High grad Bruce Reed for his input into the speech that wowed the Demcractic National Convention:
He didn't mention Idaho by state, but former President Bill Clinton said a former Idahoan had a hand in crafting his speech before the Democratic National Convention. The Idahoan in question: Bruce Reed, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and the son of former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed of Coeur d'Alene. Clinton discussed the speech Thursday on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." The mention of Reed starts about one minute in, and goes to about the 1:30 mark. Video here.
Question: Do you know much about Bruce Reed?
My profile of former Idaho Democratic operative John Stocks ran Sunday and included quotes from two other talented Dems, Bruce Reed and Jim Messina. What unites the three? All sought their fortunes elsewhere in climates where politics are competitive. "We Democrats have lost too much of our seed corn," laments former Gov. Cecil Andrus. "There's not a lot of future for Democrats right now in Idaho," said Mary Lou Reed, a former Democratic senator from Coeur d'Alene who is Bruce Reed's mom and was a mentor to Stocks. Bruce Reed was the first to go, attending Princeton and then becoming a Rhodes Scholar. He went on to work for President Bill Clinton and now is Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff. Bruce Reed jokes that Stocks supplanted him in his mom's eyes. "I always had to call ahead to make a reservation, because otherwise he was usually sleeping in my bedroom." Mary Lou Reed countered: "No, no, no! Never that. He really didn't move in"/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.
Question: Can you blame John Stocks, Bruce Reed, and Jim Messina for leaving Idaho for bluer pastures elsewhere?
President Barack Obama, flanked by Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors, left, and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Bruce Reed, eats lunch at the Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, Wednesday. Reed, of course, is a Coeur d'Alene High graduate and son of Scott & Mary Lou Reed of Fernan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Question: Who did you have lunch with today?
Bruce Reed, son of former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed of Coeur d'Alene and Coeur d'Alene attorney Scott Reed, was named Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff today. You can read the official White House press release here. “I’ve known and admired Bruce for over 20 years,” Biden said. “We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I’ve frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since. He brings a unique blend of experience and perspective to this position and his leadership will be a tremendous asset to my office, and to the entire White House."
Reed said, “I’m very excited to join Vice President Biden’s team, and to work with the fine staff he has assembled. I’m thrilled that he asked me to take on this role, and I look forward to helping him advance the important agenda of the Obama-Biden administration.”
Bruce Reed, along with his wife Bonnie LePard and children Julia LePard Reed, 17, and Nelson LePard Reed, 15, are shown at the home of their grandparents Jim and Barbara LePard on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene last August. Reed has been selected as the chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden has named a centrist Democrat and veteran of the Clinton administration as his chief of staff. Bruce Reed (a Coeur d'Alene High graduate and son of Scott & Mary Lou Reed) served as chief domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, helping secure passage of landmark welfare reform and Clinton's education agenda. He most recently was executive director of President Barack Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission. Reed has a long working relationship with the vice president. He helped then-Sen. Biden craft the 1994 Biden Crime Bill. Reed replaces Ron Klain, who left Biden's office earlier this month/Associated Press. More here. And: Alison Boggs wrote a story about Bruce Reed last August here.
The morning after Inauguration Day, Maureen Dowd marveled at “the patience that America is extending to Mr. Obama.” The day after President Obama lost two appointees to tax problems, she chastised him in a column titled, “Well, That Certainly Didn’t Take Long.” No matter how many times the president warns us that the nation’s problems won’t be solved overnight, the chattering classes are already buzzing, “But you’ve had two weeks!” Don’t let the “Change-o-Meter” get you down: While Tom Daschle’s exit on Tuesday was a deeply painful loss for the Obama White House, the new president is still off to a good start, and the long-term prospects for his agenda are as strong as ever/Bruce Reed, Slate. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Coeur d’Alene native Bruce Reed that President Obama is off to a good start? Why? Why not?