Harry Reid’s Jewish Chief of Staff: David Krone

As Mike Allen previewed a few days ago, Jason Horowitz just dropped a major profile of David Krone, who as Harry Reid’s Chief of Staff, caused a public rift in the Washington Post with the Obama White House after the Democrats’ poor showing in the recent midterms elections.

Mr. Krone first met Mr. Reid in 1992, when, as a young cable television executive, he picked the senator up from the airport for a fund-raiser in Colorado. Over the next several years, he donated to Mr. Reid’s campaigns, befriended his finance director and, the senator said, grew close to the women on his staff. By 2003, when Mr. Krone took a top job at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association in Washington, the two had become close enough for Mr. Reid to suggest that Mr. Krone, by then a millionaire, take an apartment in the Ritz-Carlton, where the senator lived. The Mormon senator from Searchlight and the Jewish executive from Philadelphia bonded.“I don’t smoke and I don’t drink, and it’s not — I mean with him it’s obviously religious and deep feelings,” Mr. Krone, who has climbed Everest, said. “For me it was just who I am.”


The Rift:

Administration and congressional officials have argued that the transgressions of Mr. Krone — publicly challenging the president, betraying the Oval Office code of silence and acting more like a senator than a staff member to one — have damaged Democratic unity at a time when the party can least afford it, as its numbers in Congress dwindle and the president sorely needs discipline in his ranks to advance what is left of his agenda. It all exploded this month when Mr. Krone, 48, astonished even some veteran Capitol Hill staff members by speaking on the record in a highly critical way about private conversations with Mr. Obama.


Mr. Krone said he was simply protecting Mr. Reid. A few days before the midterm elections, he said, he was hearing from reporters that the White House was blaming the legislative strategy devised by him and Mr. Reid for the party’s lousy electoral prospects. “I’m going to go meet with these reporters,” Mr. Krone recalled telling Mr. Reid. “And he’s, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Mr. Krone then debriefed reporters for The Washington Post about an Oval Office meeting in which Mr. Reid pleaded in vain with Mr. Obama to do more to help endangered Democrats, suggesting that the president was to blame for the party’s disastrous showing. The article, which was published the day after the election, landed like an atom bomb on official Washington.


Adding intrigue to the rift, Krone’s wife is Alyssa Mastromonaco, “a former West Wing staff member who is extremely close to the president.”

Prior to joining Reid’s staff, Krone was a media executive with Comcast, Yes Network, and GlobalCenter, inc. Mr. Krone is a 1989 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

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