McConnell Breaks US Senate Leadership Record

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became the longest-serving Senate party leader on Tuesday, surpassing the late Sen. Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.). McConnell became party leader in 2007.

McConnell Breaks US Senate Leadership Record

Facts

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became the longest-serving Senate party leader on Tuesday, surpassing the late Sen. Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.). McConnell became party leader in 2007.
  • McConnell celebrated his accomplishment by delivering a speech to the Senate floor, during which he recounted the history of past party leaders and their respective styles and even praised Mansfield.
  • The 80-year-old McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984, serving a stint as Senate GOP whip from 2003 to 2007 under former Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).
  • McConnell, who defeated a challenge to his leadership late last year, has been a crucial player in the party and Senate during his tenure. In 2011, he orchestrated a deal that put a limit on government spending and raised the debt limit; more recently, he made sure Republicans had a large say about what was in a $1.7T omnibus spending bill late last year.
  • Other highlights of McConnell’s career include negotiating a deal in 2012 that made Republican Pres. George W. Bush’s tax cuts permanent, and voting for Pres. Biden’s $1T bipartisan infrastructure plan in 2021.
  • McConnell's hold on his Senate position especially contrasts with the House, given House minority leader Kevin McCarthy's struggle to become Speaker of the House.

Sources: FOX News, PBS NewsHour, The Hill, Bloomberg, and Independent.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by CNN. McConnell is the archetype of a strong and intelligent statesman. He has demonstrated a willingness to reach across the aisle, enjoying good relationships with many high-ranking Democratic leaders. Indeed, his style of politics has been marked by compromise and the ability to craft fair and intelligent deals. Even as the Republican Party experiences internal strife, McConnell's political acumen has guaranteed his position as a top leader.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Breitbart. McConnell is just another establishment snake in the grass who only looks out for big business and the political class. His laundry list of betrayals to the conservative movement includes an ever-increasing national debt, continued illegal immigration, the stagnation of real wages, bailing out banks in 2008, and enacting Obamacare in 2010. More recently, he has enabled Biden to pass leftist policies, including giving Ukraine billions in aid, tightening gun laws, and attacking “MAGA Republicans.”