The Senate majority leader offered his most enthusiastic remarks about the GOP presidential nominee in months at an event in Kentucky, where McConnell was introduced as the "most powerful Republican in the world.""We need a new president, Donald Trump, to be the most powerful Republican in America," McConnell said, according to the Associated Press.
For all the interest in House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) grudging support for Donald Trump, there's been far less discussion of the Speaker's counterpart on the other side of Capitol Hill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). That's probably because the Kentucky Republican has gone out of his way to keep his mouth shut.Just last week, for example, McConnell attended an event and was asked whether or not he agrees with Trump that the election is "rigged." According to the AP's account, instead of answering, McConnell simply "laughed and walked away."Yesterday, however, as Politico noted, McConnell finally broke "his self-imposed silence on Donald Trump."
It was the first time McConnell commented publicly on his party's presidential nominee since the senator described Trump's sexual-assault comments as "repugnant."Apparently, McConnell's concerns were fleeting.There's been quite a bit of speculation in recent weeks about the kind of relationship Hillary Clinton would have with a Republican Congress, if she holds on to win the election, and if there are GOP majorities on the Hill. A variety of Republicans, from the leadership to more obscure members, have suggested they'll intensify their commitment to gridlock and witch hunts.But McConnell's comments yesterday are a reminder that the GOP's Senate leader also has in mind a period of Republican dominance: a far-right House working with a far-right Senate, sending legislation to a controversial, nativist television personality with no real interest in (or understanding of) government or public policy.Today's Republican Party may be unpopular, leaderless, directionless, and divided, but McConnell seems to realize that, by this time next week, Americans may nevertheless hand the party complete control over the federal government -- making changes to the nation and the world that might very well last for generations.