WASHINGTON — If you have ever felt your eyelids getting heavy as the president delivers the State of the Union speech, you are not alone: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he has fallen asleep during State of the Union speeches past.
“I have, frankly, dozed off once or twice,” Reid told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. “Not during the Obama years, of course.”
Reid had been asked if there was anything he was afraid President Barack Obama might say in the speech Tuesday evening that would be a problem, to which he replied that the only thing that would “trouble” him was if he was caught napping.
He is hardly alone: at least year’s State of the Union address, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly nodded off throughout the speech. In 2007, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was caught dozing during President George W. Bush’s address.
Reid said that he had spent the last week battling the flu, and several reporters spent the press conference discreetly leaning back as he coughed his way through an unusually hoarse press conference. Still, he said, he was “alert” in spite of his illness.
Besides, he added, “I understand the speech isn’t going to be very long. … It’s not going to be a record breaker for length.”