McConnell at 80 defies exodus of Capitol’s oldest leaders while discontent simmers in GOP base”
“McConnell at 80 defies exodus of Capitol’s oldest leaders while discontent simmers in GOP base”
by C.J. Polychroniou
The Washington Post
January 13, 2018
Sen. Mitch McConnell has had a very good Christmas break. Or, as he put it Tuesday night at a dinner hosted by his daughter, to a “full house” in his Senate office: “We’re having a great Christmas.”
“I’ve got a lot of Christmas presents,” he told reporters after the event. And then he told his daughter, his only child, to “say ‘Merry Christmas’ to your mom and dad.” It was a rare moment of parenthood gone well.
It is no doubt a unique moment, in which someone’s adult child is serving as the main audience, and the father in question is literally trying to get them, and himself, the maximum possible amount of Christmas gifts. But the Kentucky Republican who, at age 78, is the longest-serving member of Congress, with a record 22-year Senate career, is not the only one who is taking stock that way.
Even before the Christmas holidays began, the Trump administration has had a very public, very messy fight with the Senate majority leader and his colleagues over the shape of the looming health-care reform bill. But the health-care fight has taken center stage in the ongoing fight over the shape of the Senate Republican majority, and the leadership position that has occupied the central position for so long.
And as the Senate enters Monday’s final week of the current congressional session, McConnell’s leadership is facing a situation in which four members of his group of longtime colleagues are retiring, while several others are not seeking re-election, including a number of the more controversial ones like Roy Blunt