Harry Reid: ‘I’m Happy as a Lark’

A reporter asks the Senate majority leader if he’s happy. Confusion ensues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, where he discussed Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Sept. 12, 2013, 12:40 p.m.

Nev­er ask Harry Re­id if he’s happy. You’ll only get a whole mess of an an­swer. 

A re­port­er for the Reno News & Re­view in the Demo­crat’s home state of Nevada learned that on Thursday in a Q&A with the Sen­ate ma­jor­ity lead­er. Here’s the ex­cerpt:

Are you happy?


What do you mean? I like what I’m do­ing?

Yes. Are you en­joy­ing your life?

People say, “Hav­ing fun?” I’m not hav­ing fun. I feel very sat­is­fied with my job. I like what I do. It’s what I’ve done all my life, most of my life, le­gis­lat­or.”¦ And I really do feel good about what I’ve been able to ac­com­plish. I feel good about my caucus.”¦ It’s not like play­ing a card game. It’s a job. It’s a hard job, but I get great sat­is­fac­tion out of what I do. And I have a won­der­ful fam­ily. I en­joy my fam­ily and don’t be­grudge the fact — one of my pet peeves is, “Oh, man, I wish I could have spent more time with my fam­ily.” I don’t say that. I’ve spent plenty of time with my fam­ily. I’m happy as a lark.

What ex­actly does it mean to be as happy as a lark? Well, the phrase comes from the cheer­ful song of the bird. So let’s just watch a clip of that, and try to think of Harry Re­id.

That do it for you? If not, how about this: We all know that when Harry Re­id wants to crack a joke to the press, he re­sorts to a quote from one of his fa­vor­ite ath­letes, Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­al Bryce Harp­er. Re­id first pulled out Harp­er’s trade­marked press-room re­tort last sum­mer:

Re­id re­used the line this sum­mer.

So, could Harry Re­id be chan­nel­ing an­oth­er ma­jor sports fig­ure in his an­swer to wheth­er or not he’s happy? In Novem­ber 2012, NBA re­port­er Dav­id Ald­ridge asked San Ant­o­nio Spurs head coach Gregg Pop­ovich how “happy” he was with his team’s shot se­lec­tion dur­ing a game.

“Happy?” Pop­ovich asked. “Happy’s not a word that we think about in the game. You gotta think of something dif­fer­ent. Happy — I don’t know how to judge ‘happy.’ We’re in the middle of a con­test, nobody’s happy.”

Now that sounds more like Sen. Re­id. Oh, and the video helps:

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