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    The words “former Marine fighter pilot” attached to a candidate of either party ought to almost guarantee electoral success. But if you want to see why the Democrat who carries that appellation, Amy McGrath, still has a fight on her hands in the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Kentucky — even without her Brett Kavanaugh flip-flop — check out the newest season of NPR’s Embedded podcast. The five episodes trace the rise of six-term U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, first with the help of Louisville union leaders who are still kicking themselves, to become the most powerful man in the Senate. The series is a study of the big causes close to McConnell’s heart, including unlimited corporate election spending and dogged support for the tobacco industry. Those achievements are crowned by his marriage of convenience to President Trump, McConnell’s temperamental opposite, if not his political foil. The final episode, a friendly chat with the 77-year-old senator, doesn’t add much, unless it’s to show how the skilled politician is Teflon in the hands of even serious reporters. They ask all the right questions, but never land a blow.

    This fall, NPR's Kelly McEvers and special guests are coming to the Kentucky Cener for a special live conversation about what they found in their reporting and how they got there. More info.

    This originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Jenni Laidman's picture

    About Jenni Laidman

    I'm a freelance writer who specializes in science and medicine but is passionate about art. I'm a hell of a cook. I think of white wine as training wheels for people who will graduate to red. I love U of L women's basketball. The best bargain in town is the $3 admission to U of L volleyball. Really exciting stuff.

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