McConnell offers hope for agreements

McConnell AP

The day before Kentucky voters resoundingly rewarded him with a sixth term, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, "I don't believe our state has ever had two senators in a better position to influence the course of events in our country than we have right now."

McConnell is setting the bar high for himself and his counterpart Rand Paul.

But McConnell is entitled to lofty ambitions. If Republicans win control of the Senate, which appeared likely, McConnell will be within easy reach of his long-time dream of being the Senate's majority leader.

McConnell played on deep antipathy toward President Barack Obama in Kentucky to overcome his own unpopularity and defeat Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

But last week McConnell told reporters "our first goal will be to see if there are things we can agree on with the president."

Possible areas of agreement, McConnell said, include tax reform, trade deals and the Keystone Pipeline.

Reaching agreement will be tough. Republicans won't control enough seats to overcome an Obama veto or Democratic filibusters.

But McConnell, the master strategist, is smart to look for agreement. Americans tell pollsters they are most concerned about the economy and are tired of gridlock in Washington.

If he becomes majority leader, McConnell, already Kentucky's longest serving senator, would be the highest ranking Kentuckian in Congress since Alben Barkley 60 years ago.

We congratulate McConnell on this momentous victory.