(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) As Senate Republicans consider life in the upper chamber after the tenure of current minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., some suspect that the RINO establishment has already settled on McConnell’s successor, the Daily Caller reported.
Speculation that McConnell might need to be replaced sooner rather than later ramped up after McConnell inexplicably froze up during an interview last July. When it appeared to happen again in August, buzz increased even further.
BREAKING NEWS: Sen. Mitch McConnell appearing to have another scary episode in the media gaggle in Covington today. Aides had to step in to help him out and repeat questions. He was eventually lead away. We'll have the full video on @WLWT pic.twitter.com/q9ex5MHxLV
— Hannah Thomas (@HannahPThomas) August 30, 2023
With McConnell’s health status unclear, many senate Republicans lamented the fact that his successor would almost certainly come from within the Establishment since McConnell holds Senate campaign funds with an iron grip, distributing them only to those who fall into line with his wishes.
“It’s almost impossible for an outsider to win leadership races these days with how much money is controlled by the party leaders on all sides, but the issue is particularly acute with McConnell in the Senate,” an unidentified former Senate aide told the Daily Caller.
“He’s basically the most—at least to the base—the most unimpressive leader that we’ve had in previous decades,” said the source.
The former aide also noted that the Establishment has likely already decided in favor of McConnell’s heir apparent, John Thune, R-S.D., who is the current Senate minority whip.
A current aide noted that another establishment option is Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
“It will either be Thune or Cornyn, but most likely Thune,” he noted.
Both senators have the approval of RINOs like Susan Collins, R-Maine, who previously said that though Cornyn would do a “very good job,” Thune is the natural successor to McConnell.
“John Thune presents a great image for our party,” Collins noted.
“He has been involved in a lot of different issues. . . As the second-highest-ranking person in leadership, to me he’s the logical successor.”