Congratulating the Majority Leaderby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-01-02
REID. No one would believe this, but I did not know Senator
Durbin was going to say a word. Most of what he said is unimportant,
but I appreciate his efforts to try to make me better than what I am. I
really do appreciate his friendship.
We came as a couple of anxious people to the House of Representatives 30 years ago. Speaking for both of us--and I can do that--it was such a wonderful experience. During the first 3 or 4 months I was in the House of Representatives, I kept thinking I was going to have to pay somebody because I was having such a good time. It took me a while to figure out that the taxpayers were paying me for doing a job that was so much fun.
I appreciate very much Senator Durbin's friendship. I so admire and appreciate him for all he has done for me, the State of Illinois, and the country. He is absolutely right about this--he had a mentor by the name of Paul Simon who had the good fortune to serve, as we were both Lieutenant Governors at or near the same time. We served in the House of Representatives together and we served in the Senate together. What a wonderful human being. Senator Durbin and I have talked about this. Senator Simon was to Dick Durbin what Mike O'Callaghan was to me. He was not only the toughest man I ever knew but the most honest. When he would drive, he would never, ever exceed a posted speed limit. He is somebody whom I will always remember. I could never be like him.
In addition to being tough and honest, he could swear like no one we have ever heard, but only he could do it, this massive man who had almost 200 amateur fights before going to Korea and [[Page S8639]] losing his leg. He was such an exemplary person in my life. So I appreciate Senator Durbin mentioning him. But to me, he was like this great man Paul Simon. I don't know how many books he ended up writing. I am sure it is 15 or 20. He never went to college. He was a brilliant man. So I thank Senator Durbin very much. I appreciate it a lot.