Joe Biden

The Most Important Relationship in D.C.? Biden and McConnell Have a History

The Democratic president-elect and the inscrutable GOP Senate leader have a "yin and yang" dynamic that could get deals done

Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., make their way to the House floor for President Obama's State of the Union address, January 12, 2016.
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The power dynamic in Washington, D.C., next year will be centered on two men with 80 years in office between them, a history of making deals and sparring, and who sometimes even refer to each other as friends.

Heading into his administration, the relationship between President-elect Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is taking center stage. With a closely divided Senate, their personal dealings will be key to just how much, if any, of the new president's agenda can be accomplished.

Those who know both men say they have mutual respect and have built a level of trust between them over the years — which could be key in being able to facilitate agreements. But those familiar with the pair — and the current hyper-partisan state of politics — say that's only going to go so far.

McConnell, who was the only Republican senator in attendance at Beau Biden's funeral in 2015, called Biden "a real friend" and "a trusted partner" at the conclusion of the Obama administration.

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