In the process, Mr. McConnell, 68, a Kentuckian more at home plotting tactics in the cloakroom than writing legislation in a committee room or exhorting crowds on the campaign trail, has come to embody a kind of oppositional politics that critics say has left voters cynical about Washington, the Senate all but dysfunctional and the Republican Party without a positive agenda or message.
Democrats swapped the story among themselves , then quickly issued a TV ad based on the Times story blaming McConnell for the Republican blockade of Obama-care.
As Kate Phillips wrote on the paper's "Caucus " blog Thursday evening:
Pouncing on an article by The Times's Carl Hulse and Adam Nagourney about Senator Mitch McConnell's strategy for a Republican blockade on health care (and other legislative matters), the Democratic National Committee has released a new ad.
It contrasts remarks that Mr. McConnell, the Senate minority leader from Kentucky, made about bipartisanship efforts last summer with examples cited in The Times article of his rather successful strategy of keeping his team in line - in an opposition line, that is.
Spokesmen for the D.N.C. said the ad would begin running on cable stations in the Washington market on Friday and again next week. That's when the Senate takes up final action on health care, after the House votes - now scheduled for Sunday afternoon.