I discovered Mitch McConnell on May 22, 2010.

Of course, as a budding young politico, I had followed Sen. McConnell for more than a decade. I respected his achievements and understood his importance, but it was that day that I was first allowed an inside look at the man who led my party in the United States Senate.

May 22 was five days after Rand Paul’s primary victory and any celebration we enjoyed had been short-lived. The liberal media was circling, the national Democratic machine was cranking up its attacks and Kentucky Republicans were deeply divided after a contentious spring campaign. The tea party won the primary, but the tea party alone would not be enough to win a general election in a state where Democrats held a 2-to-1 registration advantage.