As we reported yesterday afternoon, the predicted end of the House Majority Leader election that other blog sites were reporting never came, and now it appears Republicans in the House have settled in for the long haul. No more than about a third of the GOP caucus, if that, has truly committed to either Reps. Roy Blunt and John Boehner. Why?
"Almost certainly it's because we're waiting for the other shoes to drop on both of them," a Republican House member explained. "If a member is in Washington, they are already hearing that reporters are circling around the 'Boehner is a party animal' stories from a few years ago. You're hearing there are major pieces on Blunt's relationships with lobbyists being developed. Beyond the most loyal supporter none of us is willing to go out on a limb that might get sawed off pretty quickly. If you're out of town you're hearing if from your colleagues on conference calls we're holding."
Yesterday, during a lunchtime conference call among conservative Republican House members, there was an acknowledgement that neither current candidate was strong enough on reform, or perceived to be "clean" enough for them to support. Rep. John Shadegg's (AZ) name came up continually.
Shadegg is remaining fairly quiet, but it is clear that he and his operatives continue to indicate to supporters in the Republican Study Committee and elsewhere that his entry into the race can only be achieved if there is groundswell of support generated to allow him to enter the race with strong momentum. That would require a commitment of between 30 to 50 members, to ensure that he enters the race with at least as many commitments as the other two candidates, if not more.
All that said, Shadegg appears to be looking very carefully at entering the race and a decision may come sooner rather than later in the process. Keep an eye on this over the next couple of days.
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