Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hasn't had the best of years, and last week's "freezing" incident has raised additional questions regarding his leadership role in the next Congress, at least by Democrats.
According to the Washington Examiner, several top Senate Democrats said on Sunday that McConnell's leadership role after this Congress is finished is somewhat up in the air.
Several of them were asked about McConnell's abilities, given that he took a nasty fall earlier this year, which is what he essentially blamed for his most recent freeze-up on camera.
They were also careful not to reveal their thoughts on the next Congress, and noted that McConnell, for the time being, seems "fine."
"Look, I talked to Minority Leader McConnell after the incident this week where he froze," Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) told NBC's "Meet the Press." "He seemed fine. We spoke the next morning."
While seeming sure McConnell would finish this term in the top leadership role, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) wouldn't say what he thinks could happen next term.
"I have not spoken to him directly about the incident, but he was on the floor. Thursday was a long day in the Senate, completing the defense bill. He looked like the old Mitch McConnell," Murphy said.
The Connecticut senator added, "My sense is, he is very much still in control of that caucus. And though he certainly had a health scare, my sense is that he's back up on his feet, and he is going to be able to lead the Republican Conference very ably going forward."
"No question I have a lot of disagreements with Mitch McConnell, but he has been one of the more effective leaders of the Republican Conference in my lifetime. And I expect that that will probably continue, at least until the end of this term," Murphy continued.
McConnell's troubles don't stop there, however. Both former President Donald Trump and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley have both called for the aging Kentucky senator to step aside, the New York Post reported.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 31, 2023
Trump labeled McConnell's incident "sad," and Haley dropped a bluntly honest remark, saying, "We’ve got to stop electing people because we like them and they’ve been there a long time. That’s actually the problem."
"We appreciate your service. We appreciate what you’ve done. But this is why we will fight for term limits. We’ve got to get it done in America," Haley added, after calling out several more elderly politicians that she believes should pass the proverbial torch to younger leaders.
Only time will tell what becomes of McConnell's leadership capacity, but he certainly can't politically afford any additional public medical incidents like his latest.