EXIT STRATEGY: Is Senator Mitch McConnell On His Way Out?

Following the election of Joe Biden, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has become the most powerful Republican in Washington, DC.

The senate upper chamber is currently split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans which is bad news for the GOP, so 79-year-old McConnell, who was reelected last year to a seventh term, will for sure fight hard to regain the majority in 2022.

At 79 McConnell knows it’s unlikely he will complete his term as, always a tactician, is said to have created a list of successors just in case.

For several days, Kentucky political news has been dominated by reports that the Republican-dominated state legislature is poised to change the means for filling a vacancy in the U.S. Senate.

According to 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.

Under current law, the power to appoint McConnell’s replacement falls to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. But new legislation McConnell is pushing in the Kentucky General Assembly would strip the governor of that power and put it into the hands of the state GOP.

Sen. McConnell supports the proposed change in rules for filling a Senate vacancy (officially Senate Bill 228). In addition, state Republicans have offered to more Republicans from which McConnell’s successor will be chosen.

The other two names on the list are United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, whose husband is a major McConnell contributor, and Secretary of State Michael Adams, who also worked for McConnell in past years.

Gov. Beshear’s opposition to 228 is expected to make little difference. Republicans have “veto proof” margins (two-thirds of the seats) in both the state senate and state house and can thus override any veto.

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