House Speaker, Next Senate Leader Natural Allies

by
November 14, 2014

boehner-mcconnell
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell joined House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio on Thursday at the pinnacle of the congressional and Republican power structures in Washington — two establishment deal-cutters, each on occasion frustrated by the other’s inability to rein in their party’s most zealous ideologues.

The pair, formally selected Thursday to lead their party’s new majority control of Congress, will be charged with guiding Republicans on Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency. Their success or failure could determine whether the GOP can take back the White House in 2016.

McConnell, 72, is taciturn and rarely cracks a smile. “Why don’t you get a life?” he joked to photographers trying to snap photos of him after he was unanimously chosen by his Senate GOP colleagues Thursday to serve as the new majority leader starting in January.

Boehner, 64, is gregarious, chain-smoking, perpetually tan and fanatical about golf, which McConnell does not play.

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