But the dynamics have changed, provided that McConnell wins the Georgia qualifiers and holds the majority lead and Biden ended President Donald Trump’s chances in the Electoral College in the coming days. .
And perhaps most importantly, Biden and McConnell have a real relationship – forged over the years as Senate colleagues and warriors. McConnell was the only Senate Republican to attend the funeral for Beau, Biden’s son in 2015, and he largely stayed away from GOP’s attacks on Biden’s other son, Hunter.
“They have been negotiating big things before. They have gone through some very tough and even fierce battles over judicial confirmation, ”Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), A close ally of Biden, said in an interview. . “But I think they managed to keep friends or have a professional, professional relationship even during the toughest of times.”;
McConnell and Biden may have reason to find something in common. Under Trump, McConnell succeeded in his long-term goal of reshaping the judiciary; before long, his role will shift to the most powerful Republican party in Washington, who also has to defend a razor-thin majority. And Biden was elected not to run on the most liberal agenda but partly due to his ability to work with the other side, predicting “you’ll see an epiphany unfold among many Republican friends of me ”if Trump loses.
“I have been campaigning as a Democrat, but I will run as a US president,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday. “The presidency itself is not a partisan institution.”
Democrats have admitted that their legislative ambitions are much smaller than a week ago, but they argue that there is still room to deal with things like coronavirus aid packages, infrastructure, and so on. higher education and rural broadband. Most Republicans agree.
Both former Senate tycoons before their time at the highest rungs of American politics, McConnell and Biden will have to reopen their old donations almost immediately. Biden’s entire Cabinet will keep an eye on whether McConnell will bring up his nominees to vote, and his appointments will certainly be more focused if Schumer takes power in the Senate.
There is no hope for free icons like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to win Cabinet endorsement – although that fact may well avoid internal battles among Democrats seeking to shape them. Biden administration.
Some Republican members still gossip about the delay introduced by Democrats on Trump’s candidates, increasing prospects of a protracted front door war for Biden as he rallies. institutions in the context of pandemic and economic crisis. GOP senators who are considering a presidential election in 2024 will have more political incentive to lift works to seek attention.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Said: “Mitch McConnell is going to force Joe Biden to negotiate with every Cabinet secretary, every district court judge, every US attorney with him. “I guess we’ll have a fairly immediate constitutional crisis.”
But Manchin argues that “this country doesn’t want a lightning rod” in the Cabinet and that Biden and McConnell can effectively agree on a pool of non-nominees that won’t turn out to be a brawl. hit between the two sides.
Things are certainly not all that warm and fuzzy between McConnell and Biden. Biden shot McConnell in September over the inability of Congress to pass a new coronavirus relief bill, warning that “states are in real trouble, and to quote my good friend Mitch McConnell, he said , “Let the states go bankrupt.” McConnell said earlier this year that Biden would have to release more filings to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against him by former assistant Tara Reade.
Beneath the sniping, however, is a deep relationship – even friendship – that could challenge the predictions of the absolute stalemate that arose from the Capitol.
McConnell called Biden on Wednesday as his “old friend”. And he paid public tribute to Biden in a 2016 speech just before the vice president left office, calling him “the trusted partner”. In 2011, Biden appeared at the McConnell Center in Kentucky, observing that the audience wanted to “see if a Republican and a Democrat really like each other. Yes, I’m here to tell you that we do. ”
“It’s a long term relationship and they understand each other,” said a Republican senator, who knows the two.
McConnell and Biden declined to comment for this story. And Trump’s criticism on Twitter against the vote count has mostly prevented Republicans from talking about how they would work with President Biden. The GOP remains vigilant about overtaking Trump.
“Senate Republicans are in a very strong position to shape the next two years for the country, regardless of the outcome. My hope is that President Trump will win, ”said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, leader of the No. 3 GOP, said. “Our role will be very important.”
In a number of deals that liberals hate, McConnell and Biden negotiated a “fiscal cliff” agreement to raise taxes and cut spending in 2012. Rohit Kumar, policy advisor McConnell’s domestic country at the time, said in an interview that the Republicans never felt like they “panties” Biden in an agreement.
Kumar also asserted that Biden’s negotiating style was superior to Obama’s.
“Biden handles negotiations in a very real issue. ‘You know, we have to have an agreement. You have to trust me when I tell you what I can and can’t do, ”said Kumar, who currently helps lead PricewaterhouseCoopers’ national tax office. “That’s the complete opposite of how Biden and Obama handle negotiations.”
The Biden team and Biden himself are thinking about how McConnell as the majority leader will reshape his administration and wonder if McConnell will be the deal-maker or the type of villain who has said that making Obama president for a term was his top priority, according to an official close to Team Biden.
Scott Mulhauser, Biden’s deputy chief of staff during the 2012 presidential campaign and former adviser, said: “In the midst of a huge red wall, if someone can win, it will be Joe Biden. with Schumer and Pelosi. on the Senate Finance Committee.
And there may be general benefits to cutting more contracts over eight years later: Majority McConnell faces the possibility of actually wiping out by 2022 with the number of seats in play, while Biden could avoid some. His party’s divided thoughts on Supreme. Courts, healthcare and clutter could have played out if Democrats had a narrow majority in the Senate.
Chuck Hagel, who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and with Biden as GOP senator, expressed optimism about the prospects of cooperation between the two parties.
Biden will “join personally. Obama’s style is different, ”said Hagel. “Obama doesn’t really understand Congress, the Senate, the same way Joe does.”