The Gavel No One Wants
Daniel Newhauser – National Journal
…Members absorbing the shock mused behind closed doors that any American could be elected, since the Constitution does not specify that the speaker has to be a member of Congress. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels, some members said, should be drafted to lead the rambunctious House.
The far-flung suggestions illustrate just how dumbfounded members are at their inability to come to a consensus candidate for the post. Rep. Peter King said some members were crying in the Republican cloakroom after McCarthy’s announcement, bemoaning the bitter divisions in the part and its lack of direction. Others were simply at a lack for words….
When asked who could possibly be the next speaker, Rep. David Schweikert replied, “Right now, there’s a chance all of us could be.”
Watch Ohio Republican John Boehner Resigns as Speaker of the House
5 Reasons Nobody Wants to be House Speaker
Glenn Thrush – Politico
Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s abrupt and shocking (well, not that shocking) withdrawal from the race to succeed John Boehner has raised an existential question the ochre Ohioan himself always asked rebellious members: Who the hell would want this job?
We have our answer.
Nobody with the slightest sense of political self-preservation or the scantest hope of having a future. McCarthy (looking ten years older than he did a week ago) used English words to explain his ‘later-for-you statement (“If we’re going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to do that”)…. When asked if he was interested in the gig, Rep. Mac Thornberry, conservative from Texas cattle country, told reporters on the Hill, “I’d rather be a vegetarian.”
This is because the overstuffed 247-member House majority (brilliantly secured in perpetuity by Bush-era electoral gerrymandering) is, like New York in the 1970s or the Washington Nationals right now, essentially ungovernable.
A Caucus in Chaos
Rachel Brody – U.S. News and World Report
Following the closed-door meeting, McCarthy told reporters the GOP needed “a new face” to lead the party. He reiterated the sentiment in a statement released soon after, saying, “Over the last week it has become clear to me that our Conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader.” …
But why now? It’s simple, wrote Russell Berman at The Atlantic: “McCarthy knew he was still short of the threshold he needed on the floor, knowing that Democrats would vote as a bloc against him.” He may have had the votes for a simple majority, but not enough to unite the fractious Republicans.
The tea party-aligned conservative Freedom Caucus, about 30 members strong, “was threatening to block his ascension unless he agreed to empower its members through committee and leadership slots, procedural reforms, and possibly even legislative promises that he would be unable to keep.” …. Add to this the calls from constituents of “rank-and-file” Republicans to ditch McCarthy. Clearly, Berman concluded, McCarthy’s support was in danger, and he knew it.