Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Not long after a Marine Corps helicopter carried former President George W. Bush over nation’s capital to private life on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed that the two recently made peace of sorts after years of acrimony.
Reid and Bush have seen a lot of each other lately, the senator said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun. It has given them a chance to discuss a few things.
Last week, at a farewell lunch at the White House with the president and congressional leaders, Reid said he broached the topic.
“I said, ‘You know, I’ve been your biggest critic, but you’ve always been nice to me, and I appreciate that,’ ” Reid said.
Reid has sparred intensely with Bush these past several years, especially after Bush won reelection in 2004 and Reid became the Democratic leader.
Reid has called Bush various l-words (loser, liar), and written in his autobiography that he believes Bush may be the worst president ever.
At one notable moment during heated arguments about the Iraq war in 2007, Reid famously declined to shake the president’s hand after a meeting at the White House. At the time, Congress was trying to build support for a troop withdrawal.
“Just because I don’t agree with the war and trying to privatize Social Security doesn’t mean we can’t talk as grown-ups,” Reid said on Tuesday.
On Inauguration Day, Reid sat in the front row near Bush as Barack Obama, a Democrat, was sworn in as president. Reid, Bush, Obama and congressional leaders met Tuesday morning for coffee at the White House.
Reid said he and the president enjoyed an easy banter about baseball and basketball.
“We just had a good time, talked about politics a little, but non-consequential stuff,” he said.
During these final few meetings, Reid said, he and the outgoing president always ended their talks agreeably.
“We shook hands every time,” Reid said.