Monday, November 3, 2014

Mitch and Rand Barnstorm Kentucky

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell winds up his campaign today, flying around the state with his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Sen. Rand Paul.

I would love to be a fly on the wall of that plane.

The day gives McConnell and Paul ample opportunity to set the agenda what Republicans can accomplish upon taking control of the Senate.  The first 100 days are critical; let's make them count.

It is extraordinary that a state as small and poor as Kentucky has two such consequential Senators:  a future Majority Leader and a future presidential candidate. As McConnell has often said, Paul has been influential in the Senate from the very outset -- highly unusual in a venerable institution based on seniority.

Paul and McConnell have very different yet complimentary skill sets. McConnell understands the rules and procedures of the Senate better than anyone.  Paul has a political instinct that  discerns not just where public sentiment is now, but where it can go. I think their friendship is genuine. McConnell should take the opportunity between campaign stops to pick Paul's brain and prioritize what a Republican Senate majority can accomplish. First on that list should be the Keystone Pipeline.

Paul's boldness plus with McConnell's realism can combine to produce votes on bills that can demonstrate that Republicans are serious about governing, not obstructing.  Of course, Obama will probably veto most of the bills we'd like to see become law.  Let him.  Force him to go on record.

Paul and McConnell should also take this opportunity to plan for the contingency of what Obama may try to do by Executive Order in the lame duck session after the election but before the new Congress is sworn in.  If, for example, Obama tries to achieve amnesty through Executive Order, Republicans need to be ready to seek an injunction.

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