Call it a Christmas miracle.
Following months where they have openly and often vehemently clashed on everything from the administration’s divisive drone program to the fate of Federal Reserve Board nominee Janet L. Yellen, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed Thursday that he’s actually quite fond of conservative firebrand Rand Paul.
“I met in the last few days with Rand Paul, spent a lot of time with him, and I have grown to really like him,” Reid told reporters during a press conference where he reflected on the challenges of the remarkably unproductive legislative session that even now threatens to derail staffers' holiday plans.
Although he’s well aware of political opponents who thrive on making him miserable (“I need not give you names, but it's just a handful of people,” the Nevada Democrat posited), Reid doesn’t seem to believe Paul belongs exclusively in that camp.
“He's — even though he has some set political views, he wants to get things done here,” Reid said of the libertarian-leaning Kentucky lawmaker. “And I find that throughout the Republicans. I think they want to get things done. And I hope that's true.”
Team Paul did not respond to calls and emails inquiring as to whether Reid’s sudden chumminess might pave the way for increased cooperation in the second half of the 113th Congress.
But Reid certainly sounds like he’s ready for less confrontation in 2014.
“Maybe all of you have a better memory than I have, but I think the only thing we've gotten done since summer was implement nondiscrimination. I don't think there's anything else we've done,” Reid bemoaned.