In a crisis, Republicans again turn to Mitch McConnell

Thursday, he settled on an extended football metaphor to describe his predicament: He was a backup quarterback thrust into the game after the starter got knocked out with a concussion, and he was backed up against his own end zone with little protection.

“I felt like I was on the two-yard line, I had a pretty weak offensive line, and the best I could hope for was to try to punt,” McConnell said.

For the fourth time in less than three years, McConnell has emerged as the key Republican in deals with Democrats over fiscal matters. He’s now negotiated two tax deals and two debt-limit measures that averted potential financial meltdowns. …

But McConnell swears he is not running from his role as the indispensable Washington Republican and, in fact, plans to make it the hallmark of both his primary and general election campaign next year. “When the country’s in crisis and when a bipartisan agreement is needed, I’ve demonstrated on no fewer than four occasions that I can step into the breach and get an outcome that’s good for the country,” he said.