Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes conducted the first joint interview between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), which aired last night. In a web extra posted on the 60 Minutes website, Kroft said he initiated the sit-down in hopes of finding “any common ground” between the two senators, but added that they “found none.”
CBS called the interview “exasperating” and “tense,” while Kroft himself termed it “very chilly.”
“They did not look at each other once during the course of the interview,” Kroft said.
Adding to the apparent awkwardness between the two senators was their attempt to downplay any air of antagonism.
“They kept saying… ‘My good friend, Harry,’ or, ‘My good friend, Mitch,’” Kroft added.
The relationship between Reid and McConnell is an oft-used example of increasing polarization between the Democratic and Republican parties in the Congress—a split that’s making some legislators, like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), count down the days until their terms are over.
“We should be individually and collectively embarrassed about our failure,” Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who will not seek a fourth term, said on 60 Minutes. “We don’t know, any longer, how to work out differences in the United States Senate.”