Thursday, February 02, 2006

GOP House Leadership Vote Today

I obviously don't have a dog in this internal GOP fight, but I think it will be a very interesting looking into how the House GOP members are really feeling about their party. If Roy Blunt, the frontrunner and current majority whip, is elected on the first ballot with 125 or so votes, it is a clear sign that for all the Abramoff/DeLay/Cunningham fallout, the membership really isn't too worried about how voters will react in the fall. A Blunt vote is essentially a vote for the status quo. (It is also the safest vote.)

The "rebel" is John Shadegg, who is a doctrinaire conservative, but also the one who is most likely to push back against the administration and the K Street interests. If the caucus feels an true overhaul is need, he will win. But don't count on it, my guess is that he makes too many people worried, although he does have the clear support of the conservative blogsphere, which really doesn't matter.

John Boehner is the middle ground candidate. He is a "K Street" as Blunt, but doesn't have the leadership baggage. (This is the guy who was openly handing out tobacco PAC checks on the House floor following a related vote, so he is hardly a reformer.) My money is on him, as the compromise candidate. A vote for him signals a break from the DeLay regime, but not a break from much of what DeLay actually did as Majority Leader.