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Mitch McConnell embraces her dark side

congress Senate majority leader revives his turn as a crook from the left. By BURGESS EVERETT 05/19/2019 07:06 EDT Call him" Cocaine Mitch "Nuclear Mitch" or administrator of "Legislative Cemetery." Mitch McConnell says he is "Grim Reaper" anyway, so he loves every minute. While his critics have tried to make Republican public enemy No. 1, the Senate has GOP leaders taken over the demonization in an attempt to protect their Senate majority, their own seat and his title as a long-standing GOP leader in the United States Story Continued Below "We need some fun in this business, "McConnell said in a brief int" I used to call myself Darth Vader when I was back in the campaign financial war. " McConnell's reworking as a left-handed cartoon villain is a dramatic transformation from the tough, low-key Republican led The ear that was when McConnell has cleared his reputation to the right with his dumb power practice – confirms the two Supreme Court justice and dismantles parts of the filibust while developing an ability to drive both democrats and their own GOP opponents crazy. Now he is the portrait of House Democrats as the worst of the congress – a "coward", according to the rep. Max Rose (DN.Y.) – and by the Senate Democrats as a destructive force hell to change the Senate forever. Sign up here for POLITICO Huddle A daily play-by-play of congress news in your inbox. Register here for POLITICO Huddle By signing up you agree to receive e-newsletters…

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Senate majority leader revives his turn as a crook from the left.

Call him” Cocaine Mitch “Nuclear Mitch” or administrator of “Legislative Cemetery.” Mitch McConnell says he is “Grim Reaper” anyway, so he loves every minute.

While his critics have tried to make Republican public enemy No. 1, the Senate has GOP leaders taken over the demonization in an attempt to protect their Senate majority, their own seat and his title as a long-standing GOP leader in the United States

Story Continued Below

“We need some fun in this business, “McConnell said in a brief int” I used to call myself Darth Vader when I was back in the campaign financial war. “

McConnell’s reworking as a left-handed cartoon villain is a dramatic transformation from the tough, low-key Republican led The ear that was when McConnell has cleared his reputation to the right with his dumb power practice – confirms the two Supreme Court justice and dismantles parts of the filibust while developing an ability to drive both democrats and their own GOP opponents crazy.

Now he is the portrait of House Democrats as the worst of the congress – a “coward”, according to the rep. Max Rose (DN.Y.) – and by the Senate Democrats as a destructive force hell to change the Senate forever.

“His enemies have given him more personality than he has given himself,” says Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “And he’s smart enough to play the game.”

McConnell’s colleagues, quoting their sense of humor, must not be surprised by the tour. But most congressional members do not re-elect as the opposition party’s greatest enemy, and that is exactly what he does.

The move is likely to help McConnell avert the type of conservative primary challenge he faced earlier. And it fits in well with the national strategy he helped to prepare for his party in 2020 and presents GOP as a bulwark against socialism, even as Senate Republicans do not seem to have any real legislative agenda itself.

So when he hears Liberals complaining McConnell McConnell can’t kill his priorities in health, environment and arms control, but can’t let go of a smile.

“I appreciate that they have picked up what I call myself, which is the cruel reaper of things like Green New Deal and Medicare for no one,” McConnell said. “I appreciate the attention.”

To Democrats is “No one should laugh.”

“No one should be proud to be the cruel reaper of middle-class legislation that the Americans desperately need,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer DN.Y., who leads a bicameral message war against McConnell running a “legislative cemetery. “

It doesn’t seem to be getting under his skin. McConnell has no plans to take up most of the laws from the House and has instructed his own committee chairmen to design bipartisan counts, but it is unclear when or if they come to the floor. As a result of the criticism, the Senate adheres to its streamlined schedule, which comes in on Monday nights, and often votes on a few Jewish nominations for ls weekend starts on Thursday afternoon.

The GOP leader holds a full wall in his office with political drawings, many unflattering and co-workers say he sometimes asks the cartoonist to sign them. Aides track how many prominent political cartoons have been run around him: 592, with 16 only this year.

McConnell doesn’t even seem to be compared to a turtle, according to late John Cornyn (R-Texas), a proposal last made in a Saturday Night Live shit that showed that a McConnell impersonator snapped his teeth on a piece of salad. McConnell saw the shit, which depicted him as supporting Trump by literally something and “loved it,” said an aide.

“He seems to embrace it. He’s a knowledgeable, sharp and efficient guy. I just think he lets it run off his back like water on a duck,” Cornyn said.

Ever since the West Virginia Republican Don Blankenship beat him as “Cocaine Mitch,” and cited reports that drugs were found in a ship owned by McConnell’s in-laws, McConnell has sometimes responded to the phone as “Cocaine Mitch.”

Aides says he sometimes called it past by at the airport, and his campaign has recently begun selling T-shirts based on the go. The nickname has become a talk war among some activists who see McConnell as the right-wing people’s hero – a status that proved unlikely six years ago when he faced a serious conservative primary challenge – and who still surprises some colleagues.

“He calls him himself? It’s good if he can laugh at it, no matter what,” said Senate minority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “In fact, he has changed the senate in ways I think can never be the same.”

Durbin has called McConnell’s “Nuclear Mitch” for leading Republicans to unilaterally change the Senate rules to speed up Trump’s nominees this year, a move it comes after McConnell triggered the “nuclear option” to kill the filibust at the Supreme Court nominee. But McConnell doesn’t seem to think that either, associates say. And McConnell’s self-proclaimed status as “Grim Reaper” of democratic priorities is probably an even darker moniker than the Democrats claiming he is running a “legislative cemetery”.

Gridlocks run by McConnell have late. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) is considering, albeit leaving Capitol Hill and running to governor.

“It can be very unpleasant at times,” said Manchin. “I stop everything that is good for this country” is what [McConnell] should run [on]. Because that’s what he does. “

For all of his hardball tactics, McConnell has a sharp and self-defeating sense of humor, according to Senators and Assistants. He understands that conflicting public perceptions and insults by him would only give their enemies what they desire, so he sublimates them instead.

” Most politicians are rather uncertain. He is obviously very confident, says Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), One of the newest GOP senators. “There is no better way to defy an insult than to embrace it.”

But McConnell also sees a real use in everything. If the GOP leader is seen as the guy on the front line who hits back to the left, there is almost no disadvantage if he is in no way in a competitive general election.

At present, it seems unlikely. And McConnell already predicts his blockade of liberal law will help keep him as a senior leader in 2021, whatever happens in the presidential election.

The Democrats’ Health Care and Climate Change Agenda “will not pass the Senate,” said McConnell. “And it won’t pass the Senate after we hold our majority by 2020.”

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

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