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'Hairy' Reid envy

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A foggy Monday in Washington left Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in an introspective mood Monday, as he opened the chamber’s week by praising retiring Sen. Ben Nelson’s hair.

Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat whose hairline has retreated slightly but is still well ahead of many of his similarly-aged colleagues in the Senate, said he cannot hide his envy of the thick gray locks of his fellow Democrat from Nebraska.

“That is a mop of real hair,” he assured the chamber and the wider C-Span audience, adding that Mr. Nelson has constituents call his office to verify things. “They believe he has a toupee. It’s his hair.”

Mr. Reid was commemorating Mr. Nelson’s service. The two-term senator is retiring at the end of this Congress.

Minutes before, Mr. Reid had also praised Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the longtime Vermont Democrat who was presiding over the chamber — a duty usually reserved for the most junior members.

Mr. Reid explained that the fog that had settled over Washington Monday afternoon had snarled air traffic across the country, leaving an unnamed senator unable to make it in time to preside, and he said it was gracious of Mr. Leahy to substitute.

But Mr. Reid also dragged the nearly bald Mr. Leahy into the hair envy discussion. Mr. Reid said his wife has told him she thinks Mr. Leahy is handsome because he refuses to do a comb-over.

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