So Rep. Jeff Flake, one of the instigators of the Republican House leadership election, plans to announce his support of Rep. John Shadegg on Tuesday.
Shadegg continues to lag in numbers, but remains critical to the fortunes of all involved in the campaign to replace Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
With almost daily embarrassments trickling out about him, Rep. Roy Blunt is increasingly looking like damaged goods.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Boehner has run an efficient campaign, saying all the right things and embracing Shadegg's candidacy as though he were a fraternity rush chairman welcoming a new charge. Perhaps that's hitting a bit too close to home for Boehner, but he deserves credit for surviving this far into the race without a major shoe dropping.
Before the election began, Boehner was assuring his supporters that his was a clean record. It appears that that may be the case, unless the Washington Post and New York Times are sitting on damaging material, hoping to spring it at a more embarrassing moment.
After deafening silence and facing pressure from conservatives to speak up about the race for majority leader, Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Mike Pence endorsed John Shadegg this morning.
This is great news and should be a great boost for the right man.
The RSC just sent Pence's letter around:
Two weeks from today, the Republican Congress will face a choice of enormous significance in the life of our nation and our majority. As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, it is always my goal to take action, with deliberation, in the best interests of our members and the conservative movement.
Out of respect for the fact that members of RSC would be supporting a variety of candidates, I had intended to withhold any endorsement in the race for Majority Leader. But given the addition of a prominent RSC member to the field and given that many members have already expressed a preference, it has become clear to me that an earlier, personal endorsement is now appropriate.
The current contest for GOP leader in the House of Representatives is the first time in the history of the Republican Party that party members, that is, all of us in the blogosphere, can directly influence the decision.
For the next three weeks, until the secret ballot vote on February 2, the back benchers will be eyes and ears open to e-mail and catcalling from us in the pachyderm herd. Establishment candidate Roy Blunt of Missouri -- who speaks in favor of grotesque earmarks and does not condemn DeLay for his lunatic 527 abuses -- has fallen short of pledged votes to lock it up for the first ballot. Challenger John Boehner of Ohio is a sincere and well-prepared reformer of the rotten practices that led to the present crisis. Boehner opposes earmarks and the egregious forms of lobbyist bribery such as travel tickets and accommodations, such as back-scratching, money-laundering 527s. And now there is John Shadegg of Arizona, who represents the Directory-fiery Republican Study Committee, which fancies itself the Spirit of '94, the clean it all up tyros, Cromwell rides again.
I am a fan of brooms.
The three House majority leader candidates are on Fox News Sunday. Rep. John Boehner on the ongoing tallies (approx. transcript): "We're polling our colleagues. Nothing matters until they vote by secret ballot." Those few words of common sense outweigh the week of hot air emitted by these candidates, their surrogates, and the punditocracy.