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Mitch McConnell hugs his dark side

  Mitch McConnell "=" Mitch McConnell "/> </source></source></source></source></picture>
                " [Mitch McConnel’s] Enemies have given him more personality than himself, "said Senator Lindsey Graham. And he's smart enough to play the game. Drew Angerer / Getty Images </p>
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The Senate Majority Leader rejoices to be the villain of the left.

Call him "Cocaine Mitch," "Nuclear Mitch," or the "Legislative Cemetery Administrator." Mitch McConnell says he's the "Grim Reaper" anyway, so he loves every minute of it.

While his critics have tried to make him an enemy of the state No. 1 Republican in Kentucky is dedicated to the Democratic Senate GOP leader to protect his Senate majority, his seat and his title as the senior Sen. GOP leader in US history.

"We must Have a little fun in this business, "McConnell said in a brief int." I used to call myself Darth Vader when I was in the financial wars of the election campaign. "

McConnell's recast as a left-wing comic villain is a d Ramatic change towards the reserved republican leader once the scourge of the Conservatives and sometimes even of President Donald Trump.

McConnell, however, has rebuilt his reputation on the right with his blunted exercise of power. He endorsed two Supreme Court judges and dismantled parts of the filibusters while driving a knack for democrats and his own GOP opponents into insanity.

Now he is portrayed by the House Democrats as the worst of the Congress – a "coward," according to Rep. Max Rose (DN.Y.) – and hell-bent by the Senate Democrats as a destructive force on the Senate forever. This is in sharp contrast to the public personality, which is characterized by caution, consideration and risk aversion.

"His enemies gave him more personality than he did," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "And he's smart enough to play the game."

McConnell's colleagues, who privately quote his sense of humor, may not be surprised by the change. But most congressional members are not running for reelection as the opposition party's biggest opponent, and that's exactly what he does.

The move will likely help McConnell fend off the kind of main conservative challenge he faced in the past. And it fits in nicely with the national strategy he devised for his party by 2020, portraying the GOP as a bulwark against socialism, even though the Senate Republicans themselves seem to have no real legislative agenda.

When he hears the liberals complaining about McConnell, McConnell eradicates their priorities in terms of healthcare, environment, and gun control and smiles.

"I know that they have picked up what I call themselves, what the Grim Reaper is when it comes to the Green New Deal and Medicare for no one," McConnell said. "I appreciate the attention."

For Democrats it is not a laughing matter.

"No one should be proud to be the grim reaper of civil legislation that Americans desperately need," said Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Minority (DN.Y.), who staged a two-chamber news war against McConnell as a "Legislative Cemetery." " leads.

It does not seem to go under his skin. McConnell has no plans to take over most of Parliament's legislation, and has instructed his own committee chairs to draft bipartisan bills, though it is unclear when or if they will speak. In the midst of the criticism, the Senate sticks to its tight schedule, arrives on Monday night and often votes on a few nominations until the weekend starts on Thursday afternoon.

The GOP chairman holds a full wall in his offices for political cartoons, many of which are unflattering, and his colleagues say he occasionally asks the cartoonist to sign them. Helpers track how many prominent political caricatures he has had: 592, including 16 this year.

McConnell does not even seem to care to compare himself to a turtle, according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a proposal that was last made in a Saturday-night live sketch in which a McConnell -Imitator showed teeth on a piece of salad. McConnell watched the sketch in which he literally supported and "loved" Trump, an adjutant said.

"He seems to hug him. He is an accomplished, smart and effective guy. I just think he lets it drain off his back like water, "said Cornyn.

Since Republican Don Blankenship of West Virginia criticized him as "Cocaine Mitch", he cited reports that drugs were found in a McConnell's ship McConnell, his father-in-law's shipping company, occasionally hooked up the phone with "Cocaine Mitch "answers Attack. The nickname has become a collective call among some activists who see McConnell as a right-wing folk hero – a status that seemed unlikely six years ago when he faced a serious conservative primary challenge – and still surprises some colleagues.

"He calls himself that? It's good if he can laugh about whatever it is, "said Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Minority Whip. "The fact is, he changed the Senate in a way that I believe will never be the same."

Durbin called McConnell "Nuclear Mitch" for causing Republicans to unilaterally change the Senate's rules to accelerate Trump's nominations this year, after McConnell launched the "nuclear option" Kill filibuster on Supreme Court candidates. But McConnell does not seem to mind, say employees. And McConnell's self proclaimed status as a "grim reaper" of democratic priorities is probably even darker than the Democrats' claims that he is running a "legislative cemetery."

McConnell's stalemate has left Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) wondering if he should leave Capitol Hill and run for governor.

"It can be very uncomfortable sometimes," Manchin said. "I stop everything that is good for this country," is the motto of [McConnell] [on]. Because that's exactly what he does. Despite all his hardball tactics, McConnell has an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humor, according to senators and adjutants, and understands that the fight against public perceptions and insults will only give his enemies what they want and take them instead

"Most politicians are rather insecure and obviously very secure," said Senator Kevin Cramer (RN.D.), one of the newest GOP senators. "There's no better way to distract an insult than

McConnell, however, also sees a real benefit in that, if the GOP leader is seen as the man on the front beating the left, there is almost no disadvantage, unless he is somehow in a general election.

At the moment, this seems unlikely, and McConnell predicts that his blockade of liberal legislation will hold him in 2021 as a majority leader of the Senate Irrespective of what happens in the President's race.

The Democrats' agenda for health and climate change states: "Do not pass the Senate. Said McConnell. "And it will not happen to the Senate after we retain our majority in 2020."

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

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