The Race For Speaker of the House Begins [VIDEO]
The Race For Speaker of the House Begins [VIDEO]
Speaker of the House. It’s an important role. Leader of the House of Representatives, third in line of succession for the presidency. But with Paul Ryan not seeking re-election to Congress, the race to fill the role on the GOP side just got a little more interesting.
Now, it’s not interesting at all on the Democrats’ side. Nancy Pelosi is perfectly Botoxed and embalmed and ready to stand up to lead the Democrats with her rictus chemically enhanced from now until they drag her out (the woman is 78 years old!) or she gets out-lefted and shoved aside for someone younger.
But on the GOP side, it’s long been assumed that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would be Speaker Ryan’s natural successor (with the caveat that the GOP holds the House in the midterm elections). House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is also a natural contender, but Scalise has said that he will not challenge McCarthy if he wants the job.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a statement Thursday. “President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Thursday’s announcement would be the first time Jordan directly said whether or not he is running. The congressman had repeatedly said leading up to the announcement that there was no speaker’s race, but the he was entertaining the idea of throwing his name in the hat.
Two of the top ranking House Republicans–House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana–are also angling for the position.
McCarthy failed to garner the 218 required votes to become speaker in 2015, but his particularly close relationship with President Donald Trump is expected to give him a potential upper hand over Scalise in the coming months. Scalise wouldn’t rule out a potential bid for Ryan’s job but is also adamant he would not run against McCarthy, who he considers a “good friend,” he said in March.
Both representatives are raising millions for the party and for midterm candidates, which give them solid footing as Republicans look to choose their next leader.
McCarthy said Wednesday that he wants to be the next speaker, urging conservatives to back him.
Congress should #DoWhatWeSaid.
So let's do it.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 26, 2018
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Jordan has dealt with accusations of late, relating to his time as an assistant coach at Ohio State University’s wrestling program. However, it is important to note that Jordan has no allegations against him personally – the issues relate to whether he, as an assistant coach, knew of the alleged abuse happening. It is also of note that the accusations are now 30 years old. While that does not excuse any abuse that may have occurred, it does put a lot of distance between Jim Jordan, the 24-year-old assistant coach, and Jim Jordan, the 54-year-old congressman. And these issues may cloud his Speaker race.
Fox News has been told by multiple sources over the past couple of weeks that Jordan’s candidacy could be seen through the lens of a “spoiler” or “kingmaker.”
Under that thinking, Jordan is likely to command at least 40-plus votes – enough to deprive McCarthy or Scalise the votes for speaker on the floor. But, if either of them — or another candidate — bows to Freedom Caucus demands, Jordan, and thus the Freedom Caucus, could then throw their support behind that person.
House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., among other conservative members of the group, announced their support for Jordan on Thursday.
“He was a two-time national champion [wrestler]…I never knew him to get on the mat and expect him to lose,” Meadows told reporters.
Jordan is also expected to have the support of outside conservative groups affiliated with the Tea Party, like FreedomWorks, which said Thursday they plan to spend at least a half-million dollars in support of Jordan’s bid.
But Jordan would have trouble attracting widespread GOP support because some Republicans outside the Freedom Caucus don’t appreciate his guerilla tactics. Jordan, a three-time All-American wrestler in college, also still faces scrutiny over what he did and didn’t know 30 years ago about allegations of sexual abuse when Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State.
Earlier this month, he told Fox News that the allegations are “bogus.”
“I never saw, never heard of, never told of any kind of abuse,” Jordan said. “We would’ve dealt with it if we knew of anything that happened.”
But first things first, guys. In order to have a GOP Speaker of the House, you first have to KEEP CONTROL OF THE HOUSE.
It comes amid uncertainty over Republicans holding the House. University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” this week said for the first time this year that Democrats have the edge in retaking the House.
“Put it all together, and the Democrats now look like soft favorites to win a House majority with a little more than 100 days to go,” the site said.
Also on Wednesday, a Quinnipiac poll said Democrats lead Republicans by 12 points in a generic House ballot, with Democrats favored over Republicans 51 percent to 39 percent.
Midterms are traditionally not kind to the party that holds the presidency. Don’t expect this year to be any different. It’s not that discussion of who will be House Speaker after Ryan are premature, it just should not be the focus of the House GOP at the moment. Their first goal should be to win their seats. THEN they can get into the internecine issues of leadership.
That doesn’t stop anyone or everyone from having opinions, of course. So, what do you, the readers, think? Is this a bold move by Jordan and the Freedom Caucus, or is this a poor decision?