McConnell Honors the Life of Marlow Cook

‘Senator Cook served in this chamber for only a single term, but his political impact in the Commonwealth of Kentucky was substantial. So was his impact in my life.’

From 1968 to 1970, Mitch McConnell was the chief legislative assistant to Senator Cook in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered remarks on the Senate floor today honoring the life of former Kentucky U.S. Senator Marlow Cook upon his passing Thursday, February 04, 2016. Prepared remarks follow:

“It is with sincere regret that I rise to mark the passing of Kentucky’s former Senator, Marlow W. Cook.

“Senator Cook served in this chamber for only a single term, but his political impact in the Commonwealth of Kentucky was substantial.

“So was his impact in my life.

“Marlow Cook gave me my first real opportunity in politics, as state youth chairman for his successful Senate campaign.

“He gave me an important opportunity in government too, as chief legislative assistant — basically what we now call legislative director — in his Senate office. I worked there for two years. I recall that time fondly. I remain very grateful for it.

“Senator Cook was someone who proved that Republican success was possible in a commonwealth dominated by Democrats. That was no easy task when he ran for office, but he succeeded anyway. You might even say he sketched out a political blueprint for victory.

“Launch an improbable campaign for Jefferson County Judge-Executive in your 30s, and win...

“Secure re-election…

“Then launch a bid for U.S. Senator…

“That’s the political path Marlow Cook took.

“That’s the political path I took too.

“Some might say the similarities end there, or note that we haven’t agreed on every issue in the years since.

“But what two people ever do?

“It doesn’t change my enduring gratitude for the opportunities Marlow Cook brought to me.

“It doesn’t change my respect for him.

“This is a man who enlisted in the Navy when his country called — and when he was still just a teenager.

“Marlow Cook served his country honorably in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in World War II.

“Marlow Cook served his country honorably in the United States Senate.

“I should note that Marlow Cook was also the first Roman Catholic elected to major statewide office in Kentucky.

“Marlow Webster Cook’s impact was felt in the course of the commonwealth’s history, in the shape of the riverfront of Louisville, and in the trajectory of the lives and careers of Kentuckians like myself.

“Elaine and I are truly saddened by his loss.

“We will continue to remember this veteran, judge-executive, and U.S. Senator fondly.

“I’m sure colleagues will join me in that sentiment.

“I ask them to also join me in sending our best to his family and friends.”

Related Issues: Tributes, History