Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Served 1985-present, Majority Whip, 2003-present
Arguably one of the Senate’s most conservative members, McConnell has carved out a niche as a Republican stalwart in both policy and politics. He is often assigned to be the GOP’s point man in leading the charge for his party and criticizing those on the other side of the aisle.
He even rushed to the defense of then-Majority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.) after Lott began drawing fire for comments at Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party that were deemed racially insensitive. (McConnell later encouraged Lott to step aside as the political heat intensified.)
McConnell, however, is perhaps best known as the Senate’s top adversary to campaign finance regulation, often taking on his GOP colleague Rep. John McCain (Ariz.) in opposing reforms. In 1994, McConnell spent an entire night filibustering a campaign-finance bill.
The Kentucky Senator has been quoted as saying: “I’m proud of my enemies. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.