Mitch McConnell is the incumbent 75-year-old US Senator from Kentucky who succeeded Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader on January 3, 2015. Formerly, McConnell was Senate Minority Leader from 2007 to 2015. Likewise, McConnell also served as Senate Majority Whip (2003 – 2007), Chair of the Senate Rules Committee (1999 – 2001), Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (1997 – 2001), and Judge-Executive of Jefferson County (1977 – 1984). McConnell is an acting US Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975.
Early Life and Education
Mitch McConnell was born on 20th February 1942 as the son of father Addison Mitchell and mother Julia. Born in Sheffield, Alabama and raised in both Louisville and Sheffield, Mitch McConnell went to duPont Manual High School. after DuPont, he joined the University of Louisville for an undergraduate degree in political science.
For Juris Doctorate degree, Mitch went to the University of Kentucky.
Mitch McConnell is currently married to wife Elaine Chao, who was Bush administration’s Secretary of Labour. Previously, he was marred to Sherril Redmon from 1968 to 1980. The couple remained together for 12 years and had three children: Claire, Elly and Porter McConnell.
Mitch McConnell always strived for a career in politics. As a college student, he interned with several politicians, senators, and members of the House. In 1975, as a law graduate, McConnell was appointed by President Gerald Ford as the US Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. Likewise, from 1977 to 1984, he served as Judge-Executive of Jefferson County.
Leaving the position of Judge-Executive, McConnell decided to run for the 1984 US Senate Election. Having gained the Republican nomination, he faced Democrat incumbent Walter Huddleston and Socialist Workers Party candidate Dave Welters and won with 49.9% votes in favor. Similarly, in 1990, McConnell defeated Harvey Sloane with 52.2% votes. As of 1996, McConnell was an absolute winner with 55.5% votes against Democrat Steve Beshear and other third party candidates.
In 2002, Mitch thrashed Lois Combs Weinberg with 64.7% votes. Likewise, in 2008 and 2014, Mitch retained his position for the 5th and 6th term by acquiring 53% and 56.2% votes respectively. While at the US Senate, McConnell worked on various leaderships. On January 3, 1997, he became Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and served until January 3, 2001. During the same period, McConnell was also the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee. Subsequently, he succeeded Harry Reid as Senate Majority Whip on January 3, 2003 and remained in the position for four years. To follow up, he became Senate Minority leader in 2007 and Senate Majority Leader in 2015.
In 1984, Mitch McConnell supported anti-apartheid in the US and backed the 2007 Protect America Act in order to gather intelligence on any threats to the US Homeland Security. As of 2000, he criticized Bill Clinton administration for bringing out Flag Desecration Amendment. In a similar way, he backed Common Sense Medical Malpractice Reform Act 2001. Talking about his stand on Obamacare, McConnell strongly voted against it in 2009. He also opposed Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act 2010.
As of 2016, Mitch McConnell has a disapproval rating of 49%.
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell
As the presidential race started, Mitch endorsed Senator Rand Paul. After Paul withdrew from the race, he stayed neutral until Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee. In May 2016, McConnell endorsed Trump saying, “I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching the nomination.”
Although McConnell is a Trump supporter, he has criticized Trump on several issues and statements. He opposed Trump’s statement against federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel and criticisms against American Muslim Captain Humayun Khan’s parents. Likewise, on Access Hollywood Controversy, McConnell said, “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”