Mitch McConnell is close to achieving his dream of becoming Senate majority leader and has told colleagues to expect a radically different working environment next year.
Friends and allies of the senior Republican senator from Kentucky say McConnell has yearned for this moment throughout his career in Washington. He wants to etch his name in the history books alongside his idol, Kentucky Sen. Henry Clay, who is known as the Great Compromiser.
“It’s his lifetime goal. He is a person of the Senate,” said former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a close friend of McConnell’s who used to sit on his Senate leadership team by special invitation.
“He’s always wanted to be majority leader and this would be a fulfillment of that,” added Gregg, who is a columnist for The Hill.
McConnell faced a brutal 2014 cycle, having to fend off a primary challenge and Alison Lundergan Grimes, a well-funded Democratic candidate. Recent polls suggest McConnell is pulling away from Grimes and most political handicappers say the GOP is a heavy favorite to claim the Senate.
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