As Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell faces a major conundrum. His candidate in Alabama, Luther Strange, lost the special election primary run-off. The candidate who has been vociferously outspoken against McConnell, Roy Moore, won but now faces serious allegations from a host of women regarding sexual conduct.
The problem for McConnell is that, fairly or unfairly, the attacks against Moore seem to be orchestrated by him (or his network-it is legion). To the people who reject this notion outright and say this is a story that originate wholly from the Washington Post, let me say this: stories are planted with reporters all the time. To say that this story suddenly appeared post primary election on its own begs more than a few questions.
But whether or not it was driven by Team McConnell, for the sake of this post, is beside the point. Given his comments yesterday about Moore, McConnell is now adding fuel to the fire (or conspiracy theory, depending on your viewpoint) that he and his team have orchestrated this entire story. Yet all this while he hasn’t said a word about a sitting Senator, Robert Menendez, and his apparent unethical, unlawful activities and the allegations of sleeping with underage hookers in the Dominican Republic. Some will argue that as a Democrat, Menendez is Chuck Schumer’s problem. I would argue that as the majority leader of the United States Senate, McConnell has a duty to speak up regarding the untoward behavior of Menendez.
He has, however, chosen to spend his time solely on Moore, achieving two things at once: the appearance that he and his team are behind the stories and making Moore’s voters dig in even deeper.
This is a real problem for McConnell. There is still a chance Moore stays in the race and wins and then is part of legal proceedings that potentially prove his guilt in one or more of these sexual allegation stories. Then 2018 gets REALLY interesting.
I know for a fact the National Republican Senate Committee is polling not only Alabama after the charges were leveled against Moore, but other Senator races as well to gauge the deleterious affect Moore might have on other GOP candidates in 2018. It could be significant.
But the only course of action McConnell and his team have at this point is to sit tight and let this story play out on its own. Frankly, it’s not looking good for Moore. If you lose both Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, the handwriting is literally on the wall.