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Because the lowest vote-getter gets lopped off for the next round, Ryun was dropped and Shadegg, who was expected to be the third and only vote-getter, lived to fight on another ballot. Shadegg’s initial presence allowed for a further softening of Blunt’s support for the second round, before Shadegg himself pulled out and allowed his support to go entirely to Boehner. Boehner beat Blunt on the second ballot, 122-109.
According to members of Boehner’s kitchen cabinet of advisers, who have met regularly for months to map out his return to leadership of the conference, Boehner’s whip operation canvassed those members who had publicly endorsed Blunt early in the process.
“What became clear is that Blunt’s support was strong on the first ballot, but after that, all bets were off, and we had an opportunity,” says one of Boehner’s advisers. “We heard from at least 20 members who had endorsed Blunt that it was only a promise of first round support. We didn’t push these members too hard; we didn’t want Blunt’s people identifying our strategy. We wanted them to think they had a count on the second ballot that we knew they simply did not have.”
In the end, the rap on Blunt — that he wasn’t as smart a whip counter as his predecessor, DeLay — came back to haunt him again.p>
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