ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: Stephen Strasburg fever has permeated Washington so fully that the phenom pitcher, fresh from his first major league game, got a more than six minute tribute from bipartisan leaders on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, watched the game on television even as primary voters in Nevada headed to polls to select his opponent for the November election.
Reid compared Strasburg to Sandy Koufax even though Koufax was a southpaw and Strasburg is not.
“(Strasburg)’s right-handed but reminded me so much of Sandy Koufax because he throws more than 100 miles an hour, throws a curve ball about 85 miles an hour. that’s remark with such great control,” said Reid.
Then, bringing the Washington sports story back to Nevada, Reid pointed out that the Nationals, recently got this year’s number one draft pick too. And they selected Nevada native Bryce Harper, who has about as much hype for his hitting as Strasburg has for pitching.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, interrupted Reid on the Senate floor to one-up him.
“I was there,” said McConnell of Tuesday night’s game, which Reid had to watch on TV.
“What a remarkable athlete, and we can only hope and pray that his arm holds up and that he has the kind of career that everyone is anticipating,” said McConnell. “There was literally electricity in the air. It was an exciting event, and it was great to be there.”
And while on the political playing field, Republicans like McConnell will work hard to oust Reid from the Senate in November, McConnell was all smiles in talking with Reid about Harper.
“I look forward to (Harper) being the next Nevada contribution to the Washington area right after my friend the majority leader,” said McConnell.
Despite the difficult road ahead for Reid’s reelection bid, McConnell suggested the two would still be in office because next year, after the election, he said the two could take in a game.
“What one can conclude from this is next year when the senate is not in session in the evening, both democratic and republican leaders will be at the Nats games,” said McConnell.
He then paused briefly before launching into a speech hitting Reid and Democrats for trying to take over Americans lives with government.
“Americans are looking for solutions,” said McConnell. “They’re not getting any from Washington, whether it’s the housing crisis, the financial crisis, the debt crisis or the crisis in the gulf. What they’re getting is a white house and a democratic majority in congress that seems more intent on pursuing a government-driven political agenda than in finding commonsense solutions to the problems that all of us are concerned about.”