Elaine Chao genuinely likes campaigning.
She likes it so much, says Larry Cox, retired state director for Chao’s husband, Mitch McConnell, that she even “takes particular delight” in the kind of foodstuffs one encounters on Kentucky campaign stops—corn dogs, fried chicken. So much so that she often takes food to go when she doesn’t have time to eat at events.
The campaign trail seems to like Chao, 61, right back. While the former labor secretary is known in Washington more for her policy chops, her stumping skills are well known in the Bluegrass State. She is her husband’s chief surrogate and has been characterized as McConnell’s secret weapon. It’s a formidable and effective partnership.