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September 3, 2015

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Harry Reid: Election results show Americans want bipartisanship

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Steve Marcus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference at Vdara Wednesday, November 3, 2010.

Harry Reid news conference - Nov. 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responds to a question during a news conference at Vdara Wednesday, November 3, 2010. Launch slideshow »

The Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle was characterized by some of the most vitriolic, negative, mudslinging campaigning that took place during a 2010 midterms, marked by bitter divisions across the country. But by the morning after his win, Reid seemed to have forgotten all of that, boiling his promise for the future down to a single concept: bipartisanship.

"I think the main message that we should have received last night ... is that the people of Nevada and the American people want us to work together," he said.

Addressing a roomful of reporters at the Vdara hotel at CityCenter, which became the backdrop of choice for his campaign, Reid delivered short political eulogies for his colleagues who lost their seats to Republicans, and a sigh of relief over those who squeaked out wins, but mainly focused on laying out his agenda -- in general, bordering-on-vague, terms -- and strategy for governing.

"Now it's time to get back to work, do what is needed to re-right the economy and create jobs," he said. "I'm hopeful and confident that when the dust settles that the Republicans will no longer want to stop everything and we'll work together."

There's nothing particularly remarkable about a politician talking bipartisanship the day after winning an election.

But in the coming Congress, a compromise-driven approach is an ingrained prescription for getting anything done. It takes two houses of Congress to pass laws, and while Reid's Democrats maintained their dominance of the Senate, the House is going to be led by Republicans -- with several tea partiers in their ranks.

"There is a message out there, and the message is that people are struggling," Reid said. "It is difficult. And there's no place that's more difficult than Nevada."

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