He told the crowd, "I've been in some tough fights in my day. In the street, in the boxing ring and in the United States Senate. I'll admit, this was one of the toughest." Keeping with the pugilism references, he added, "The bell that just rang wasn't for the end of the fight. It's for the start of the next round," referring to his need to go back to Senate with a significantly smaller majority and a crop of less-friendly faces on the other side of the Capitol.
Reid did have a parting shot for his critics, whose naysaying in the final days reached a fever pitch: "My story and this night proved that 'difficult' is not synonymous with 'impossible.'"