Reid: I love Dean Heller, always have, always will

No human has more chutzpah than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and he showed it again this morning during a DC gaggle with reporters.

Here is his exchange with the Las Vegas Review-Journal's capital reporter, Steve Tetreault:

QUESTION:  Senator Reid, how do you plan to reset your

relationship with Senator Heller now that the campaign is over?  And
do you think the two of you can work together...
 REID:  Dean Heller and I have been friends for 25 years.  In a
difficult election I had in 19 -- which one was it? -- 1998, he was a
champion.  He was secretary of state and he was so helpful.  
  I have -- I have affection for Dean Heller.  I like him a lot.
We'll be able to work together.  I worked with John Ensign, who I beat
by 428 votes in that election I just talked about, and I think that --
and I think that you, everyone, has to acknowledge what good friends
we are and how well we work together.  So I have no problem with that.

QUESTION:  You had that big blow-up about online poker in September.

REID:  As far as big blow-ups, that's so minor in my life.  OK?

A few comments:

Friends for 25 years? Really? I guess it depends on what the definition of "friend" is. Is it like when senators refer on the floor to "my friend" and really mean "The guy I despise"?

Reid's reference to that amazing Ensign race is apt. It was incredibily bitter, and Reid privately told people he should have lost. It wasn't long afterwards that he blew up his own cadre of advisers and the state party and changed Nevada forever. He created the machine that is one of the more fearsome in American politics. He also co-opted Ensign after the Republican was elected in 2000, ensuring a working relationship that occasionally benefited the state (Ensign couldn't do much) and always benefited Reid (Ensign stayed out of his way).

Finally, that line about Heller being "so helpful" in that 1998 race is my favorite. So helpful? Heller was the secretary of state at the time and after Ensign asked for a recount, Heller eventually agreed with Democratic lawyers after controversy over a ballot nightmare in then-GOP-friendly Washoe County. Ensign wanted all 96,000 ballots counted by hand. Republcians were outraged; Reidites were thrilled.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Ok?