Mitch McConnell on Principles & Values

Republican Sr Senator (KY)


2001: Accused of improper relationship with Chaos in China

In an April 23 cover story, the New Republic ran an inflammatory article about Chao and McConnell entitled "Sullied Heritage: The Decline of Principles Conservative Hostility to China." The venerable liberal monthly cast the piece as a case study of how two conservative stalwarts--the Heritage Foundation and McConnell--had sold their respective political souls by moderating their formerly hawkish views for the sake of Chinese money that the Chao family had steered their way. [McConnell's wife] Elaine Chao's father, a shipping magnate, has supposedly cultivated, and benefited from, a relationship with his former classmate Jiang Zemin, who rose to become China's leader. The piece made several suggestions of impropriety, but provided little factual support or outright accusations of any wrongdoing.

McConnell considered the article to be an outrageous fabrication that tried to depict a family that had fled the communists as mercenary sympathizers. He dismissed it as "baseless" & "xenophobic."

Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p.153-4 , Sep 15, 2010

1957: President of high school student body

DuPont Manual High School was one of KY's best, oldest, and largest secondary schools when the young Mitch McConnell entered it in 1957. Though an outsider who had moved from Alabama only a couple of years earlier, he made up his mind to become president of the student body, and in the spring of his junior year, at the end of a carefully plotted, multiyear campaign in which he focused on outworking and outplanning opponents, he was elected in a close race. The pattern--the ambition, the determination, the hard work, and the political talent to overcome considerable disadvantages--was set.

McConnell had to settle for being student council vice president at his junior high school. As he now says, "I never liked being vice president of anything."

Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p. 8-11 , Sep 15, 2010

The best kind of change is gradual change

The Jefferson County GOP chairman died shortly after the election and in April, the 31-year-old McConnell succeeded to the post. The next day a profile in the "Louisiana Times" contained some revealing, and classically conservative, comments from the "self-described philosophical centrist." McConnell portrayed himself as "a strong believer in the art of the possible. To be effective, you have to superimpose over your idealism the realities of political life. I have a very strong conviction that the best kind of change is gradual change..you have to deal with what's possible and discourage those who advocate radical change."
Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p. 27 , Sep 15, 2010

1993: Married Elaine Chao on Ronald Reagan's birthday

Having been single for 13 years since his divorce, McConnell had finally found a personal, and political, soul mate. Late in the year he became engaged to Elaine Chao, then 39 and a remarkable person in her own right. In 1991, she was appointed director of the Peace Corps, and the next year she became president of the United Way, where her 4-year tenure won plaudits for successfully restoring the scandal-tainted reputation of America's largest institution of private charitable giving.

Chao and McConnell would marry, fittingly for a pair of increasingly powerful conservatives, on Ronald Reagan's birthday, February 6, 1993. She brought much-needed affection, companionship, and intellectual stimulation to McConnell's life, and each proved an asset to the other in their ongoing political ascents.

Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p. 92-3 , Sep 15, 2010

Contract With America was a tactical mistake

In Washington, the battles over the budget and Medicare that shut down the federal government dominated the year-end news. The substance of the disputes became largely irrelevant as President Bill Clinton clearly won the public relations battle against his Republican rival Gingrich, improving the Democrats' political prospects in the process. The change in the American political climate was immediate and palpable.

McConnell considered the Contract with America to have been a tactical mistake. He thought it had "overpromised" and raised public expectations unrealistically high given that the presidency remained in the hands of the other party. Gingrich had been a "great revolutionary," but proved less adept at governing. Clinton was now making a radical recovery from the dire straits in which he had found himself a mere 12 months before.

Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p.108 , Sep 15, 2010

After 24 years, one of the two leaders in the US Senate

Lunsford offered the most biting criticism at the end of the forum, when he used his closing remarks to speak directly to McConnell. He told him that he has used his power to block progress rather than help his constituents. “The last 24 years, you’ve ha an opportunity to do great things and great things for the country. and I think you’ve failed,” he said.

He also said McConnell has been an enabler for Pres. Bush, whom he called the worst president since Herbert Hoover. “I think in many ways the syste has been better to you than you have been to the system,“ he said.

McConnell had no chance to respond to those remarks during the program. But he said afterward that Bush’s 8-year tenure has produced both good and bad results, declining to specify the latter. He dismissed Lunsford’s assertion that he, McConnell, had failed. ”That’s hardly a credible argument to be made against one of the two leaders in the US Senate,“ he said. ”I think that’s an argument that people will just simply laugh at.“

Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Courier-Journal , Aug 21, 2008

Leadership has value; freshmen have little impact

McConnell [repeatedly] brought his remarks back to his central campaign theme of touting the value of his leadership position. That, he said, will be lost “if you were to trade in the Republican leader in the Senate for a freshman member of the other party. He won’t be there long enough to have any impact no matter how sharp he thinks he is.”
Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Herald-Leader , Aug 21, 2008

2006: elected Senate Republican Leader of 110th Congress

Mitch McConnell’s Senate career first began in 1984 when he became the first Republican to win a statewide race in Kentucky since 1968. On November 15, 2006 McConnell was unanimously elected Republican Leader in the 110th Congress by his colleagues making him only the second Senator from Kentucky in history to lead his party in the US Senate.

Before being elected Republican Leader, McConnell had been selected by his Republican colleagues as the Majority Whip, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, in the 108th and 109th Congresses. McConnell also chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 election cycles. He currently serves as a senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture, and Rules Committees.

Before his election to the U.S. Senate, McConnell served as County Judge-Executive (the elected Chief Executive Officer) in Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky, from 1978 until he was sworn in to the Senate on January 3, 1985.

Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.teammitch.com , Aug 20, 2008

Voted with Republican Party 92.9% of 325 votes.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Republican Party 92.9% of 325 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, "Congress Votes Database" on 2008 election , Sep 8, 2007

Voted NO on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Religious affiliation: Baptist.

McConnell : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH1 on Nov 7, 2000

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