Reid passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a long four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The former Democratic Senate leader spearheaded epic legislative change in the span of his three-decade career in Congress. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential politicians of modern times.
During his time as Senate Majority Leader, he helped pass multiple pieces of legislation, including Obama's Affordable Care Act.
In lieu of a statement, as many of his fellow political colleagues have done since news broke, Obama chose to commemorate the moment by sharing the letter he had written for Reid prior to his passing.
“When Harry Reid was nearing the end, his wife Landra asked some of us to share letters that she could read to him. In lieu of a statement, here’s what I wrote to my friend,” Obama explained.
Addressing Reid, he began: “I got the news that the health situation has taken a rough turn, and that it’s hard to talk on the phone. Which, let’s face it, is not that big of a change cause you never liked to talk on the phone anyway!”
“Here’s what I want you to know. You were a great leader in the Senate, and early on you were more generous to me than I had any right to expect. I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination.”
“Most of all, you’ve been a good friend. As different as we are, I think we both saw something of ourselves in each other - a couple of outsiders who had defied the odds and knew how to take a punch and cared about the little guy. And you know what, we made for a pretty good team,” he continued.