The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, among the best if not the best reporter of all things GOP on the Hill, is reporting via Twitter that Kevin McCarthy appears to have locked up the race to become Majority Leader, and that his aides are crowing about inevitability.
Perhaps. But the grassroots has not been heard from and the idea of replacing Eric Cantor with his hand-picked successor is like the Washington Redskins firing head coach Mike Shanahan on December 30 –which they did– and hiring his son and the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan the next day –which Dan Snyder did not do. He fired both Shanahans.
Many outside of the Conference are going to see in such a rush to close ranks a complete indifference to the message sent on Tuesday night and to general dismay with the skills set of the leadership. Yesterday on my show Chuck Todd asserted that the Cantor endorsement was “the kiss of death.” But this morning McCarthy is inevitable because Jeb Hensarling said “Pass” and Paul Ryan endorsed? I admire Ryan as much as the next guy, but he’s been wrong before. Wait and see if by the end of the day angry calls rom Tea Party and other movement conservatives –and especially defense hawks– don’t start to flow into the Hill asking “Why not the best?” Wait and see if the base erupts at “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
The GOP Conference has been a disaster all year and the last three. Pete Sessions may be the vehicle to deliver the message or a third name not yet looked for may step up. It was flat footed, old-D.C. rules to declare victory without even asking conservatives across the country to weigh in and without giving one interview on key issues like immigration reform, the debt limit etc. Wait and see what Rush, Sean, the Great One etc say today. By the time I get to my opening interview with Mark Steyn tonight we will see what reaction is, but mine is very negative and I have known and liked Kevin McCarthy for a long time, since his central valley days. But I don’t like a jam down after “a Wednesday night dinner with Washington donors,” being announced to the plebes.
Wonder where Steyn will be on the subject? Wonder what callers are going to say? This is a fundamentally unserious act by a House Conference that appears completely unaware how badly it screwed up the immigration issue, how it misjudged the veteran’s COLA issue a few months back, that Iraq is falling apart, that the president blows off their mandated notices and that their collective record in four years is “Zero.”
If Jim Jordan or Trey Gowdy put up their hand, they’d have 200,000 online email endorsements in a day. Pete Sessions is not as well known but he is a hawk. I think I’ll keep covering this as a race for today and tomorrow.
And I hope Kevin McCarthy and Pete Sessions, as well as Steve Scalise and Pete Roskam –the two announced candidates for Whip– all agree to come on the shops today and sit for longer interviews before Thursday.