Reid is so mobbed up that he's a walking, talking blackmail machine. Axlerod and Rhambo could order him to tar and feather himself and walk naked down Pennsylvania Ave and he would do so instantly.
Read Freeper Fedora's excellent investigative thread to understand this human slimeball, and why he is willing to be a tool: he has NO CHOICE.
The Robert DeNiro character was based on real life casino operator Frank Rosenthal.
He died in 2008, but he verified the events in the movie.
Here is his website, which is fascinating:
He knew Harry Reid before Harry Reid was a household name.
The scene in the movie where DeNiro confronts the duplicity of the Senator is classic.
In the top right photo, Senator Reid’s fingers would be considered by people in many countries to be making an obscene gesture - reminiscent of The Imperial President stroking his nose with his middle finger.