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7 Things to Know About Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Part 2)

1.) He witnessed the March on Washington in 1963. From Huffington Post:

“This is the McConnell … who didn’t just admire Martin Luther King Jr., but made a point of witnessing the March on Washington from the Capitol steps and later spoke up for the cause on his University of Louisville campus.”

2.) He is a former Capitol Hill intern. From Huffington Post:

“In the summer before he began law school at the University of Kentucky, McConnell went to Washington as an intern for Kentucky’s beloved Republican statesman, Sen. John Sherman Cooper. The senator had helped draft the first legislation for federal education aid, had fought school discrimination and had been a co-sponsor of the bill that created Medicare.”

3.) He married Elaine Chao, who would serve as President George W. Bush’s labor secretary from 2001 to 2009, on Ronald Reagan’s birthday. From Republican Leader, a political biography on Sen. McConnell:

“Chao and McConnell would marry, fittingly for a pair of increasingly powerful conservatives, on Ronald Reagan’s birthday, February 6, 1993. She brought much-needed affection, companionship, and intellectual stimulation to McConnell’s life, and each proved an asset to the other in their ongoing political ascents.”

4.) After years of supporting litigation to overturn laws capping campaign contributions, Mitch McConnell enjoyed his comparison to Darth Vader. From Huffington Post:

“McConnell’s legal and ideological infrastructure had birthed the era of the super PAC. He was proud of it. When U.S. News & World Report ran a headline calling McConnell the ‘Darth Vader’ of campaign finance reform, he framed it and hung it on the wall of his Capitol Hill office. After 30 years in Washington spent fighting Democrats on nearly every front, McConnell has embraced his persona as the dark lord of Capitol Hill.”

5.) He developed polio as a child. From Washington Post:

“McConnell learned persistence very early. It was drummed into him, he said, by his mother, Dean, farther back than he can remember. A polio attack at age 2 paralyzed McConnell’s upper left leg and nurses showed his mother how to do the necessary physical therapy. She exercised McConnell’s leg three times a day and trained him not to walk until the doctors decided he could do it on his own. She was determined that the boy not become dependent on braces. The persistence and determination paid off.”

6.) McConnell had a knack for serving as student body president. From Washington Post:

“But McConnell soon found he was better at running for office than he was at baseball. He became president of his student council in high school, college (the University of Louisville) and law school (the University of Kentucky).”

7.) Kentucky’s now-junior Senator Rand Paul was not McConnell’s top choice for Senate. From The Atlantic:

“McConnell’s nemesis is no Democrat but Senator Jim DeMint, the self-aggrandizing South Carolina conservative who campaigned for many of the Tea Party candidates who disrupted GOP primaries – including in Kentucky, where Rand Paul embarrassed McConnell by soundly defeating his choice to fill an open Senate seat. Activists like DeMint and Paul are already giving McConnell fits, by focusing their ire on the practical apparatus of politics – party committees, earmarks, patronage – that McConnell prizes and that wins campaigns.”