Several dozen national and local media outlets were on hand for the 2 p.m. event, which in some cases was aired live. UofL President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and many of the university’s McConnell Scholars, who are part of an elite four-year leadership program, were among the audience. 

McConnell, the Senate minority leader, told reporters that next week he expected to be named majority leader. During Tuesday’s election, the Republican party won enough seats to gain control of the Senate.

He also struck a conciliatory tone, saying the Senate was ready to work on finding agreement with President Obama and attend to unfinished business on such topics as immigration, Syria, tax reform, Ebola, energy, international trade agreements and Obamacare.

“There will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt,” he added.

McConnell said he had spoken to Obama on Wednesday and would be attending a lunch at the White House on Friday.

The news conference was held in Ekstrom Library’s Elaine Chao Auditorium, which is named for McConnell’s wife, the former Secretary of Labor. Ekstrom Library is also home to the McConnell Chao Archives. (See video here.)

Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.