McConnell: Paul forcing people to rethink GOP
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R) said Thursday his junior colleague from Kentucky, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners MORE (R), is forcing people to rethink the Republican Party with an unmatched level of "missionary zeal."

McConnell, who is up for reelection this year, complimented the libertarian favorite and potential 2016 candidate in a brief essay featured in Time magazine's 100 most influential people edition. 

"From Berkeley, Calif., to Detroit, my Kentucky colleague has been cheerfully clearing a path for Republican ideals in the unlikeliest precincts. And he’s done it with rare magnanimity," McConnell wrote. 

Paul and McConnell have formed an unlikely alliance, with the junior senator endorsing McConnell's reelection bid this year. McConnell complimented him for "embracing the 11th commandment," to not speak ill of fellow Republicans. 

But McConnell said Paul's authenticity is most important. 

"It’s a trait that’s obvious to anyone who has seen him come out of a D.C. television studio in Ray-Bans and shorts, or hold the Senate floor for half a day to get answers from an imperious White House," he wrote. 

A number of other politicians were featured in the Time issue as well. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) wrote a brief for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), complimenting him for his grace under pressure during his victory in the 2012 recall election. 

Christie has faced his own attacks while battling the fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal. 

"One of the most difficult challenges is standing up for what you believe in when faced with relentless public attacks," Christie wrote. "Scott Walker faced that test and passed it with flying colors."

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE wrote that Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFeehery: Oprah Dem presidential bid unlikely Dem hopefuls flock to Iowa Change in Iran will only come from its people — not the United States MORE has diplomacy in his blood. 

"Diplomacy takes stamina, passion and perspective, and John embodies these traits," Clinton said, complimenting his work on the Middle East peace process, Russia and Iran. She also touted his "personal" commitment to climate change. 

The civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHoyer blasts Trump for 'racist rhetoric' Fifth Dem announces plan to boycott Trump's State of the Union GOP leaders face most difficult shutdown deadline yet MORE (D-Ga.) said Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Former Fox News correspondent James Rosen left amid harassment allegations: report Issa retiring from Congress MORE has worked tirelessly to "ensure equal justice, even when some try to tip the scale in favor of a select few."

Lewis referenced Holder's work against the Defense of Marriage Act and restrictive voting laws. He also mentioned the Justice Department's prosecution of terrorists and work to rein in the banking industry.