The House Establishment thought he was a shoo-in. He was a tough Whip (Kevin Spacey shadowed him so we guess some of “House of Cards,” Francis Underwood is based on him!) He became the next in line to Boehner when Eric Cantor forgot the basics and ignored his home electorate.
McCarthy was on track to become Speaker of the House. And yet, it never happened. Here’s how he bailed.
“I don’t want to make voting for speaker a tough one. I don’t want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. I think the best thing for our party right now, is if we have 247 votes on the floor,” referring to the number of Republicans in the House. “If we are going to be strong, we’ve got to be 100 percent united.”
Why did he quit the race?
Was there more to the rumor of the “affair” suggested between him and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.)? Did he ruffle so many feathers as Whip that a revolt was underway and he couldn’t find the votes? Could he not answer this weird question posed by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in a letter he wrote to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.):
With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference, and the House of Representatives if they become public. [via Politico]
Whatever the reason, America is now awake to the complacency and sense of entitlement rife in the House. It was the revival of the conservative grassroots that finally forced Boehner to resign. Let us hope that the collapse of the inner sanctum brings about its own revival in the internal workings of the House GOP. Conservatives, keep up the pressure.