Reid Cites Bunning’s Perfect Game in Pitch for Civility

Posted May 11, 2010 at 10:36am

Comparing Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) perfect game more than four decades ago to the rough and tumble politics of today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) issued a call of bipartisanship to his colleagues and noted that “none of us is perfect.”

In his morning floor remarks Tuesday, Reid hailed the perfect game Bunning pitched as a Philadelphia Philly in 1964 as “one of the most remarkable, most elusive and most coveted” achievements in sports. Reid used the impressive feat to set a tone of respect in a body that is often mired by partisan squabbling.

“Sometimes in this body, the Senate, our political passions, our legislative objectives get in the way of our personal relationships and the respect we show for one another,” Reid said. “When that happens, we do a disservice to the citizens we serve.”

Reid’s comments were prompted by Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden’s perfect game Sunday, only the 19th in major league history.

Reid and the cantankerous Bunning have butted heads in the past, most recently in a heated debate over the short-term extension of unemployment benefits. But on Tuesday morning, Reid focused on Bunning’s historic baseball career and even quoted his retiring colleague on the floor.

“Sen. Jim Bunning once said, and I quote: ‘Everybody makes mistakes. The only time I’ve ever been perfect was for about two hours and 10 minutes on June 21, 1964,'” Reid said. “We should be able to appreciate those differences and appreciate the distinguished men and women who make up this body, the United States Senate.”