Pablo PardoWashington Correspondent

Washington Correspondent

Updated Wednesday, February 28, 2024-20:47

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Changing of the guard in



Mitch McConnell

, the man who has led the Republican Party in the


for 17 and a half years, leaves office in November.

This was announced this Wednesday by McConnell, who turned 82 last week, and who in recent months has been suffering from health problems that have often been cited as an example of the gerontocracy that runs the world's leading power.

But McConnell's departure from Republican leadership is one more victory for Donald Trump.

McConnell is an "old-fashioned" Republican, who did more than anyone - and more successfully than anyone - to wear down Obama in his eight years in the

White House

, when he inflicted defeat after defeat on Democrats in the elections, and humiliation after humiliation to the president, with whom we literally did not speak beyond what was strictly necessary.

His relationship with


was even worse.

But he has always gotten along well with Biden, despite the enormous ideological differences, among other things because, as McConnell himself has said, the current president "at least listens," something that apparently neither


nor Trump did.

Thus, McConnell is - at least, outwardly - a defender of fiscal orthodoxy, despite the fact that his state, Kentucky, has an epic negative fiscal balance, given that for every dollar he contributes to the federal Treasury he receives 2.61 in return. Dollars.

In other words: he gets almost triple what he pays in transfers.

It is a characteristic of the US, where Republican states, which tend to be poorer, are usually subsidized by Democrats.

McConnell is also a determined defender of the United States

alliance system

, which has led him, against all odds, to

bet on military aid to Ukraine


The opposition leader in the Senate has been instrumental in designing and approving the aid package for kyiv that the president of the House of Representatives, also a Republican Mike Johnson, has kept paralyzed by orders from Trump.

Likewise, McConnell opposes closing the Public Administration tomorrow, the


of both the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Joe Biden himself, and the politicization of the State bodies and institutions that Trump and his followers defend.

With all those ideas, it was only a matter of time before his influence in the Senate ended up being diluted.

Now, with his decision to resign as leader of the

Republican Party

, there is an expiration date for it.

His likely successor, Rick Scott of Florida, has done what McConnell never wanted: a transformation from traditional Republicanism to Trumpism, which can now bear much fruit if, as seems likely, the Senate falls into the hands of the Republican Party on the 5th. of November.

McConnell and Trump have not spoken

since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to prevent the ratification of the election results.

During the three hours of his confinement in the basement of the building, with Trump refusing to ask his supporters to desist, McConnell decided to forget about Donald Trump's existence.

It was not just an act of rebellion for the sake of action.

McConnell is not charismatic, but he is very intelligent.

He is like the protagonist of the series

House of Cards

, but from the English original (Prime Minister Francis Urquhart), not the American one (Senator Francis Underwood).

This gives him a very good knowledge of the political and electoral dynamics that allowed him to reach the conclusion, before anyone else, that the

Trump brand

was not good for the Republicans in Congress who, effectively, have been collecting failure after failure since The businessman won the elections in 2020.

So McConnell's withdrawal from the front row is a triumph for Trump.

The former president has never hidden his contempt for the senator.

And, in his style, not by his wife, Elaine Chao, who was Secretary of Employment under

George W. Bush

and Secretary of Transportation under Trump himself.

Chao, who was born in Taiwan, resigned after the assault on Congress, which earned her Trump, always very polite, calling her "Cho-Cho-Chao" and "China lover", something that, apart from being a lie, is especially ridiculous to refer to a Taiwanese.

McConnell and Chao are the mother of all

Washington power couples


But now his career seems to be over.