So what were Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Gov. Jerry Brown and three members of the Nevada congressional delegation doing at Bellagio’s tony Picasso restaurant Friday afternoon?
Not to mention about 100 or so other high-powered money folks, union leaders and political operatives?
What could bring such a collection of power and money together?
The answer is not what but who: Harry Reid.
He may be ailing. He may not be as powerful as he once was. And he not be Prince Harry anymore — perhaps only Regent Harry these days.
But judging by the guest list I heard about and the intel I got about the event, Reid can still draw a crowd and the encomia. And I don’t just mean the presidential hopefuls who have come knocking at his Sun City Anthem door.
The invite-only event was the brainchild of national Carpenters Union boss Doug McCarron, who put together the event as a thank-you tribute to Reid, who despite suffering from pancreatic cancer has been doing media interviews for weeks.
Among those in attendance: Gov. Steve Sisolak; Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto; Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford (Pelosi is doing a fundraiser for them, too, during her Vegas sojourn); California Gov. Jerry Brown; and two California mega-donors, George Marcus and Steve Bing.
Also there were perhaps the two most important women in his political life — Susan McCue, his ex-chief-of-staff, and Rebecca Lambe, his right hand in the state for a decade and a half. His close friend, Jay Brown, the ultra-successful lobbyist, also was there, as was Culinary union parent UNITE HERE leader D. Taylor. Stephen Cloobeck, the biggest Nevada donor to the Democratic Party, also attended.
Several of them spoke, including Rosen and Cortez Masto about how Reid had anointed them for the Senate. Pelosi talked about how she and Reid helped preserve Social Security. And Brown talked about how he and Reid partnered on the idea of high-speed rail between Vegas and Southern California.
Reid came to the event on the Strip after testifying downtown in his lawsuit over how he lost his eye, the injury that led to his retirement after five terms.