But they still have to find someone…..
Last week, the House Republicans were plunged into disarray when House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the presumptive favorite, withdrew from the speakership race. It seemed he was already facing a troubled road to succeed out-going Speaker John Boehner, given that the House Freedom Caucus–a 40-member block–was going to vote for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) for the top spot; McCarthy had reportedly refused to give in to their demands. That, coupled with the possibility of relying on Democrats for his victory, along with his comments about the House Select Committee on Benghazi–he said it was sinking Hillary’s poll numbers–crippled any notion that he could move the House forward in any direction. Democrats seized on his remarks proposing an amendment and a privileged resolution to dissolve the committee. Both failed on party-line votes. Yet, the damage was done, and McCarthy exited the stage.The possibility that Republicans might have to solicit Democratic votes (just awful optics) for the next speaker remains open, as Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) alluded to in the midst of McCarthy’s withdrawal.
Guy mentioned the rather depressing scenario House Republicans are in with McCarthy’s withdrawal. There’s a very short list of candidates who want the top spot given the headaches that comes with it. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) can’t move because he needs to restore the credibility that McCarthy torpedoed with his awful remarks. Rep. Paul Ryan is happy where he is, but is getting pressure from Boehner to run for speaker. Ryan spoke with his former running mate Mitt Romney as well, though the latter did not pressure him into running. The worst scenario that could possibly come out of this, as Guy noted, was an interim speaker, which would be disastrous for fundraising and would set a horrible narrative: Republicans cannot govern … at all.
Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post said that the conservative activist base’s threat to the establishment is real, and the sooner the latter realizes this the better: