What a difference a Presidency Campaign Win Makes! These two men butted heads several times during this year’s presidential campaign, with McConnell at times admonishing Trump and at other moments distancing himself from his own party’s nominee.
From The Hill
In running an outsider campaign he describe as a “movement,” Trump for his part did not associate himself with McConnell, the epitome of an establishment Republican. Some of Trump’s most vociferous supporters in the media distrust McConnell’s inclination to make deals.
Now these two figures make up perhaps the most important GOP partnership in Washington.
President-elect Trump will depend on McConnell to move his agenda through the Senate, where the GOP has a narrow 52-48 seat lead.
McConnell will have an eye on expanding that majority in 2018, when Republicans have a favorable map in the battle for the Senate. He’ll also be faced with the decision of ending the filibuster to make it easier to move Trump’s agenda, and perhaps to confirm justices to the Supreme Court.
“McConnell’s main problem with Trump may be his unpredictability,” said Al Cross, a professor at the University of Kentucky and a longtime political observer who has followed McConnell’s career.
“With Trump, he’s going to be a wildcard at least for the first few month. A lot will depend on how he handles his congressional relations.”
Personality wise, the two are about as far apart as one can imagine.
The deliberative McConnell chooses every public word carefully and doesn’t mind if people think he’s boring.
Trump is the opposite of boring. He loves a crowd and the cameras, and likes to go off script.
Their differences were epitomized this spring when McConnell urged Trump to be “more boring,” or at least stick to his talking points.
During an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” McConnell recounted a conversation he had with Trump at the NRA convention in Louisville.
“We were in the green room and I said, ‘Hey, Donald, are you going to use a script?’ And he took it out of his pocket. He said, ‘I have scripts. You know, they’re boring.’
“’Yeah, they’re boring,’” McConnell recalled telling Trump, urging him to use more scripts. “I said, ‘Put me down for boring. I’m in the boring caucus.’”
Cross said that Trump might have smoother relations with Congress if he delegates a lot of the relationship-building work to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who used to serve in the House Republican leadership.
“We all really like Mike Pence,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday.
He said he would like Pence to play as active a role with the Senate as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who regularly attended the GOP conference’s weekly lunches.
“I’ve mentioned that to Vice President Pence. And I hope he will attend our Tuesday policy lunches when he’s in town and kind of be our liaison between the administration and the Senate, much like Vice President Cheney was,” McConnell said.
McConnell had fewer clashes with Trump during the campaign than Trump had with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
While McConnell endorsed Trump immediately after he clinched the GOP nomination, Ryan went on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and publicly announced he was not ready to endorse Trump. Later in the campaign, Ryan told fellow House Republicans that he would no longer defend or campaign for Trump, prompting a furious response.
Republican strategists say that it may be easier for McConnell to work with Trump because he kept his criticism far more muted during the campaign and also has more solid backing from his own conference.
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