John Boehner

Shadegg Shifting

By on 1.13.06 | 6:37AM

If this is the way Rep. John Shadegg makes a decision, perhaps he isn't the right man for the House GOP leadership slot.

Mid-afternoon yesterday, Shadegg supporters were emailing associates around town that their man had decided not to seek the Republican leader position. A few hours later, upon further consultation with advisers and members of the Republican caucus, he indicated that should Reps. Roy Blunt or John Boehner not move closer to wrapping up a win, he will enter the race.

At this point, his "I'm out, but I'm in" approach to political gamesmanship is making him look indecisive and rather small.

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Blunt Fundraiser Cancelled

By on 1.11.06 | 5:10PM

If you've been tracking the going's on today in the House Republical Leader race, you'll know that the big story was Rep. John Boehner's touted plan to change the way legislative earmarks are dealt with in legislation: namely, he'd make earmarks as we know them today a thing of the past.

Getting earmarks inserted into legislation is big business in Washington and there is no better outfit at getting their clients earmarks than the mega-lobbying and advocacy firm of Cassidy and Associates. So no big surprise that Cassidy was hosting a mega fundraiser for Rep. Roy Blunt's leadership PAC, Rely On Your Beliefs (ROYB).

Problem is, the fundraiser -- $5000 per head -- was to be held on January 26, a week before the election for House Leader.

Late today came word that Blunt had canceled the fundraiser.

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More on Shadegg

By on 1.11.06 | 8:02AM

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."

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Loud Whisper Shadegg

By on 1.11.06 | 1:19AM

Co-host Larry Kudlow tonight was irrepressible in his loud whisper campaign for John Shadegg of 3rd Arizona as a fresh challenger to the apparent stand-off between Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of 8th Ohio in their bruising contest for House Republican majority leader. Shadegg is the fifth ranking Republican in the House now, chair of the House Republican Committee, and enjoys an iron-bound reputation for his chair of the stalwart Republican Study Committee in the first Bush term.

We spoke to Thaddeus McCotter of 11th Michigan, who promoted John Boehner as the man to change the unsavory ways of the pork barrel Republicans. McCotter is not RSC, and did not speak for or against RSC chair Mike Pence of 6th Indiana or other tyros. McCotter spoke in favor of a transformation in the way the House conducts business. Discipline, honor, transparency, humility. Blunt is business as usual -- Delayism without the cash binges. Boehner represents the unglamorous labor of government; McCotter added that Boehner had offered no plum for McCotter's vote, and no favor was asked.

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Catching Up

By on 1.10.06 | 3:30PM

Sorry, we've been busy with Alito hearing stuff. A few things for the late afternoon roundup:

1. The White House is extremely happy with the proceedings in the Senate confirmation hearing of Judge Samuel Alito.

2. Democrats are not. They are so frustrated by their members' poor performance and inability to get traction that they have indicated a willingness to Chairman Specter to cancel a third day of questioning by members (the 20-minute followup question round) and go right to the panels.

3. Look for the conservatives in the House to put formally press Rep. John Shadegg into the House Leader race. There is growing concern about both both Reps. Roy Blunt and John Boehner, and conservatives are looking for a third option.

4. Rep. Jerry Lewis is not that option.

More on all of this going into tonight and tomorrow morning.

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Boehner Making Inroads

By on 1.9.06 | 10:33AM

Things are moving fast. No sooner does Republican Study Group Chair, Rep. Mike Pence, appear to weaken as a leadership candidate than Rep. John Boehner begins to chip away at the RSC.

This morning, Rep. Gresham Barrett (SC), a member of the group, and vice chair of the GOP class of 2004, endorsed Boehner for leader. This is significant only in that the RSC is viewed as a leading conservative base in the House.

The more moderate wing of the Republican caucus, most visibly represented by the "Tuesday Group" intends to hold interviews with both Boehner and Blunt and whomever else might choose to run for the slot at the end of the month.

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Washington Prowler

The DeLay Sweepstakes

By 1.8.06

Guilt by association. Down to Blunt and Boehner. Pence for Whip? Plus more.
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DeLay DeToast Pt III

By on 1.6.06 | 3:55PM

Interesting watching the "dog chasing its own tail" on other blog sites as the MSM has created the buzz and excitement of an impending election that was a foregone conclusion a month ago to readers of sites like AmSpec and RedState.

For us, the only question was the timing and how late into January the Republican caucus and its leadership felt they could hold on.

It may be that Rep. Roy Blunt has built up enough goodwill in the past two months to have the "interim" removed from his leadership title. But as we have pointed out before, one reason Blunt's star was tarnished to begin with was damage inflicted by then-Leader Tom DeLay. There has been no reconciliation. DeLay is still influential in the caucus and will do everything he can to ensure Blunt is not given what DeLay feels his colleague should not have to begin with.

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