Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has spent the better part of two years walking on eggshells around President Donald Trump.
According to the New York Times, McConnell is terrified that the president will turn against him and destroy his upcoming reelection. To make matters worse, in McConnell’s state, the value of Obamacare has been a substantial help, which pits McConnell’s constituents against their fearful senator. The same can be said for Social Security and Medicare, both of which Trump’s budget would cut.
“Mr. McConnell’s approach is rooted in his personal political realities: He cannot afford to have the president, whose support with the party’s base remains solid, turn on him,” The Times reported.
As of late, McConnell is begging his Republican caucus to try and talk Trump out of appointing Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve. When the request was made last week, it was unclear why McConnell couldn’t talk to Trump himself, but the Times made it clear that the top Senator is terrified.
“Mr. Trump has mostly spared Mr. McConnell the scorching disdain he had for former Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who had criticized Mr. Trump’s personal behavior,” wrote The Times. “The president has told people that he considered Mr. McConnell ‘stiff’ and ‘boring,’ but that is about it.”
McConnell’s other problem is that his wife is deeply entrenched in the president’s cabinet. Elaine Chao, Trump’s transportation secretary, is one of very few left from the original appointees and even fewer women in the cabinet.
The Times noted that McConnell has been “unapologetic” in leveraging his wife’s connection so he can score big bucks for Kentucky.