[Ed. – Tell me again why it was so important to reelect McConnell?]
Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to hit the ground running in January — and he thinks Democrats are ready to join him in crafting a more open, functional Senate.
In an exclusive interview in his Capitol office suite, the incoming majority leader told CQ Roll Call he’s been preparing his would-be chairmen to move quickly since spring.
“‘Be thinking now about legislation that you have, preferably that enjoys some Democratic support, because we certainly didn’t think we were going to have 60 and we don’t,’” the Kentucky Republican said.
McConnell pointed to conversations he’s had with Democrats, whose cooperation will be required to get the Senate functioning as he would like.
“Up to half the calls I got after the election were from Democratic senators. I’m not implying that they were happy I won, but they were awfully curious as to whether I really meant it early last year when I pointed out that we needed to run the Senate in a very different way,” he said. “I think there’s going to be bipartisan gratitude for having a chance to be relevant, to not be marginalized.”…
McConnell also wants to show his party can govern.
“What we want to be is a responsible, right-of-center governing majority,” McConnell said. “We don’t intend to engage in rhetoric nor actions that rattle the public, that rattle the markets.
“What we can’t control is what the president does with legislation we put on his desk,” he added.
But even there, McConnell sounded hopeful that his relationship with Obama will improve.