Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, still recovering from an eye injury he got while exercising, took a moment on Wednesday to thank eye doctor and recreational presidential candidate Rand Paul for checking in on him.
Reid got up on the Senate floor and thanked the senator for being “so kind and thoughtful and considerate in visiting with me: giving me encouragement and some expert advice as to what he’s seen in the past. And giving me hope for better sight out of my right eye. I really appreciate it very, very much. I want the people of Kentucky to know how thoughtful and considerate and kind you’ve been to me over these months.”
Apparently, relying on a colleague as your personal WebMD resource doesn’t lead to long-lasting bipartisan fuzzies, because Reid immediately segued into railing against Republicans.
Paul, speaking on a conservative radio show later in the day, said the praise “might have been overstated. I’ve been concerned about his eye and wanted just to know how he was doing because I obviously know a little bit about the different surgeries he’s had to undergo … I’ve seen cases with bad injuries like this where the vision has come back and it can sometimes take a long time.”
Paul periodically gives free eye surgery to needy patients in Kentucky and abroad. He told CNN last year that it’s “an amazing thing to see someone sit up and be able to see better.” This apparently remains true even for people he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with on policy issues.