WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle returned “home” Tuesday to the Senate floor and stood alongside a bitter adversary to watch his longtime friend and South Dakota colleague Tim Johnson be sworn-in for a third term.
Sen. Johnson, who suffered a devastating stroke, was flanked by Daschle and Republican Sen. John Thune, who defeated the Democratic leader by a razor thin 51% to 49 % margin in what can be accurately described as a bitter contest. Daschle was first elected to Congress as a House member in 1978 and successfully ran for the Senate in 1986.
But time seems to have paved over the bitterness. As Thune and Daschle departed the Senate floor, the two former adversaries shook hands and patted each other on the back.
Daschle returns to Capitol Hill on Thursday for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services.