At the moment of his greatest political triumph, which will rank among the finest in the history of the United States Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reaches out in the tradition of Henry Clay to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). I join most Americans hoping they reach back in word and deed.
Congratulations are in order for President Obama, Vice President Biden and all members of the House and Senate from both parties who were reelected on Tuesday. This column is about four senators who will have extraordinary roles to play in the coming hours and years, and what they tell us about the state of the union as 2012 comes to a close.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee with the brilliant insight that the best politics for Democrats is to find the best candidates for America. The list of Democratic candidates for Senate seats that Murray did so much to assemble is among the most able and talented, as a group, of my lifetime and yours. She has earned the megastar status that now arrives for her.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is destined for great things in the Senate and on the national stage. Rubio embodies the Reaganesque notion of principled and creative conservatism, governmental seriousness and a politics of civility that is the best hope for the future of his party.
And let me be the first to reiterate my support for Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2016 with serious consideration given for Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren as her running mate to shatter every last ceiling in the history of the greatest nation on earth, set the stage for three successive and successful two-term Democratic presidents and bring to fruition a new era of historic reform in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and the Kennedy-Johnson presidencies.
Warren will be the shining star of the Senate, the incorruptible leader of the next great wave of progressivism, whose voice will shake the rafters of the Senate with a power, passion and principle that voices of old politics do not even remotely understand today, but will soon.
Warren makes me more proud to be a Democrat than any candidate since this once-young man mourned the murder of Robert Francis Kennedy, who was taken from us generations too soon. I place on the agenda the notion of a Clinton-Warren ticket because in a nation that since Washington has been given the choice of two men on the ticket of all major parties in every election except two, why not consider two women, especially two extraordinarily gifted leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, who would win the acclaim of many men such as myself?
And now, a few words on Reid, who led Senate Democrats from minority to majority status.
While defeating a ferocious campaign against his reelection in 2010, he steered the Senate Democratic ship through the hurricane winds and tsunami waves of the Republican landslide of 2010 to maintain Democratic control of the Senate. In 2012, like the tallest tree in the Redwood forest, in a political achievement worthy of Statuary Hall, with so many Democrats running for reelection against odds that would confound every casino in the Las Vegas he loves, Reid and Patty have led Senate Democrats to a triumph that will be legendary in the annals of Senate lore.
Today Reid reaches out in the tradition of the man he reveres so much, Henry Clay. It is a time for compromise and a moment to govern.
Tomorrow for Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Elizabeth Warren and all who believe in the hope that lives and the dream that never dies, it will be time to think big again.
Thank you, voters, for giving us this chance.