United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky took to the floor of the Senate today to praise Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, who is retiring from the Senate.
McConnell noted his fellow Republican has served as Senator, Governor, and a cabinet member.
“And yet, for all he’s accomplished, Mike isn’t the flashiest senator,” McConnell said. “He doesn’t hold the most press conferences. He doesn’t yell the loudest. You never have to worry about him knocking you over to get to a TV camera. But, in his steady and determined style, Mike has proven himself a remarkably successful member of this body.”
McConnell chronicled Johanns’ rise from Lancaster County Commissioner, to Lincoln City Council, to Lincoln Mayor, finally Nebraska Governor, Secretary of Agriculture under President George W. Bush, and United States Senator.
McConnell said it was unusual to have the success Johanns has had, especially while serving in the minority.
“Some think Mike must have a secret that allows him to assemble bipartisan coalitions on conservative issues,” McConnell said. “But really I don’t think it’s much of a secret at all. Mike works across the aisle. He works in good faith and he works hard. He doesn’t care what party you’re from and absolutely no one can outwork him.”
McConnell noted Johanns is one of only two United States Senators who have served as Senator, Governor, and a member of the cabinet. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee served as Education Secretary as well as Governor of Tennessee.
Johanns retires after this year. Republican Ben Sasse will succeed him.