Kentucky Senior Senator, John Sherman Cooper was a statesman, a quiet, unassuming southern gentleman, and a leader of his day in our American political system. He was a member of the United States Senate, a deliberating body in those days, respectful of one another, conducting themselves with decorum. Cooper, from Somerset, Kentucky, was an honorable man grounded with a sense of place and our history. Already involved in Republican politics in my late twenties, Senator Cooper and Senator Thruston Morton, Kentucky’s junior senator, inspired these early years of my involvement. Senator Cooper also set a high bar for a young man recently finished with law school with his eye on a career in politics. This was my friend, Mitch McConnell. We were both involved in Young Republicans on a statewide level and worked on the Senate race of Marlow Cook, which brought us together. I flew to Washington, DC to hear Marlow Cook’s maiden speech on the floor of the Senate and it was Mitch who picked me up at the airport for that occasion.
Here is the young man of those days. Oh so bright, articulate, with a love of the game called politics, who had the right instincts, personality, and leadership skills to become a player. This was the competitive side of Mitch McConnell, but his contemplative side was that of a historian, a voracious reader, the posture of a student always willing to learn. With his mentor, John Sherman Cooper to direct his early years, he learned from the best and became practiced in the unflappable, poker-faced man who gives nothing away, regardless of his irritation, exasperation or darn right anger. He is made fun of as you recently heard during the Kavannah hearings – – “That’s about as emotional as we’ve ever seen Senator McConnell.” This demeanor is intentional and reasoned, built upon experience that shaped his belief in The Long Game, the title of his autobiography published in 2016
JOIN ME TOMORROW FOR PART 2- A STORY ABOUT MITCH McCONNELL