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.
My measure of this fevered, secretive politicking in the House conference is that the leader race as well as whip race is still open; and that the early names could fall out if none gain a majority in head counts. Reminds me of the rumor-tossed Republican national conventions once upon a time, 1856 to Willkie in 1940, before the primaries began to dominate the process after Ike in 1952. Wait on the Republican Study Committee to show its music; and Shadegg is the RSC bass player alongside lead guitar Pence.