Now that he no longer has any political relevance and is in the minority, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is preparing to exit the U.S. Senate long before his term expires in 2026, according to a report from The Intercept, which notes that McConnell is also trying to make sure he gets to choose his successor:
“Mitch McConnell has compiled a short list of successors in his home state of Kentucky, preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term, Kentucky Republicans tell The Intercept.
“The list is topped by his protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and also includes former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, whose billionaire coal magnate husband is a major McConnell donor, as well as Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a former McConnell Scholar.”
However, there is one major obstacle to McConnell’s plan: The person who would name his replacement is Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat. So Mitch is attempting to rig the system to his and the GOP’s advantage:
Why the sudden urge to leave on McConnell’s behalf? That depends on who you talk to. Some cite health concerns while others indicate that being minority leader has sapped his interest in being a member of the Senate. In other words, if he can’t be in control, he wants to take his toys and go home.
There’s also the matter of McConnell’s age. He’s 79 and would be 85 if he served out his current term in office.
Rumors that McConnell’s health is failing have been making the rounds on Capitol Hill:
“In 2003, McConnell underwent a triple bypass heart surgery. In late October 2020, McConnell dismissed concerns over his health after appearing with bruised and bandaged hands days before his reelection. The previous year, the Kentucky Republican spent weeks recuperating after a fall which forced him to have surgery for a shoulder injury.”
Could it be that McConnell will soon be back home in Kentucky, retired and living out the last years of his life a form of self-imposed exile? The progress of the legislation in the state assembly may decide what Mitch’s next move will be.