WIn Chicken they were both in the Senate, with Senate Majority Presidents Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell maintaining a strong working relationship that escaped decades of highly discriminatory legislative battles.
That relationship will now face a new test when Biden takes office as President of the United States, and McConnell will remain the country’s highest-ranking Republican.
This is an organization familiar to Biden: when he was vice president, Barack Obama had to fight an adversary, McConnell, who at one point said the Senate Republicans’ priority was to make Obama “one-time president.”
The difference between the beginning of that race – a Democratic leader who spent a few years in the Senate and a Republican minority leader – is now significant. Unlike in the early days of the Obama administration, McConnell may have ordered a slim Republican majority in his room when Biden takes office.
Last week, McConnell finally delivered a speech on the Senate floor in which he congratulated Biden on his election as president, effectively putting another nail in the coffin in an attempt to thwart a series of unsubstantiated claims and conclusions about Donald Trump’s widespread fraud. Later that day, Fiden said he spoke publicly with McConnell on the phone.
“I had a great conversation with Mitch McConnell today,” Biden said Tuesday. “I called him to say thank you for the greetings. I told him, although we don’t agree on a lot of things, there are things we can work on together. We’ve agreed on one soon. I look forward to working with him.”
More remarkably, the two have a history of working together for decades in Congress. Biden was first elected senator of Delaware in 1972; McConnell was first elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1984.
Since then, they have been co-sponsors on 318 bills, according to a Guardian account. During a controversial credit crunch in 2011, Obama was Obama’s executive spokesman for Biden McConnell. Biden has long boasted to himself about his deep bipartisan relations in the Senate.
“In many cases I can not do things on my own, and that’s when I call Joe Biden,” former Democratic Senate President Harry Reid told the Guardian. “During my personal crisis I would call Joe Biden because I could not do things on my own because he was so trusted by Republicans and that was what my Senate colleagues were there for. Joe Biden was there for a long time. He built a lot of seats with a lot of people.”
Biden and McConnell appear to be polar echoes. Biden is known for his enthusiastic friendliness and less public behavior. McConnell is very reserved and careful with his words. Still others will say they can work together or say nothing.
“They’re both civilians,” former Montana Senator Max Fox said in an interview. “They’m not going to call each other names because they have known each other for a long time. If you ‘ve known someone for a long time, you do not want to call each other names.”
McConnell and Biden appeared together in 2011 at the named McNell Center at the University of Louisville. In introducing Pitton, then vice president, Senate Republican said: “Now I’m glad he went to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue to say that our work relationship is even stronger. “
At the same event he described Biden McConnell as someone he understood and a great example of the deep connections he had in the Senate of the then Vice President.
“The relationship between Senator McConnell and President-elect Biden is professional, enabling them (and, most importantly, their staff) to negotiate in good faith,” said John Kyle, a former Senator from Arizona who served as Republican Senate chair. “In any government, certain things must be done; As professionals, these two know how to achieve the desired results. ”
McConnell was also the only Republican senator to attend the funeral of his son, Beau Biden, who was elected president in 2015.
There is a residual mutual bitterness between McConnell and his community of former and current employees and between Obama and his former employees. In Obama’s latest book, he describes the relationship between Biden and McConnell.
“After Republican leader Joe blocked the funding bill, Joe told me about a run he had on the Senate floor; when Joe tried to explain the merits of the bill, McConnell raised his hand like a traffic cop and wrote, ‘You must be under the misconception that I care.’ “But McConnell was no more glamorous or principled in interest than he was in morality, ingenuity and modesty – all of which he worked on single-mindedly and eagerly seeking power.”
There is less when it comes to Biden and McConnell. That may be partly because McConnell and Pitton have to deal with each other moving forward. Both have been in custody for something. McConnell did not speak particularly badly about Pitton, nor vice versa.
Fawcett said that if Biden had any sort of initiative to attract Republicans, it could extend a honeymoon phase between him and McConnell.
“It would help if Joe proposed and started an infrastructure bill because it is bipartisan,” Fox said.
McConnell said he “wants to work as well as he can because he knows each other with Joe.” But former Montana Senator McConnell’s motives include being the majority leader and defending his caucus, interests that are inherently incompatible with the Democratic president.
That silence will only last for so long. In the event that the Senate is split 50/50 with Kamala Harris between Republicans and Democrats, or where there is a small majority for Republicans, the President and the Republican Senate President must serve each other.
Asked if Fiden and McCann could work together, Reid said: “I think we’re going to find out very quickly when Fiden, who was elected president, will have to move some things very quickly when he becomes president.
“He has a portfolio of things to do, and he has to pick and choose what he wants to do, and I hope there are enough Republicans to help,” Reid added.
Asked about their different personalities and whether they could work together, Kyle said in an email: “Yes, they are very different personalities, but they have found that they can trust each other. Again, much of it depends on how their employees work with each other. If they don’t have the same kind of staff they did, tell me in 2010-12, that won’t work either. ”