Updated: My original post is below. After a few conversations here is the instant snapshot of the race to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to be the consensus favorite for Speaker. Paul Ryan has said he’s not interested. Conservatives (including some who were publicly anti-Boehner) seem to be OK with McCarthy. Surprises can happen, and it’s still early. An hour in, McCarthy seems to be sitting pretty.
That said, there’s an open position of Majority Leader now. I am told that Tom Price will take a strong look at this race. A rematch with Cathy McMorris Rogers, as well as potentially against Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan are potential others looking at the Majority Leader position.
It’s early, and this will change frequently. We’ll talk about it in real time at noon on WGST.
Original Post as follows:
John Boehner has told the House GOP Caucus that he plans to resign his speakership (and apparently Congress) at the end of next month. This, of course, opens up a race for Speaker. The questions at hand are 1) Who can actually lead this caucus in a party that has a “base” which has been co-opted by non-Conservative/quasi-Republican Donald Trump, and 2) Who would want to?
The trick to the first question is finding someone that is acceptable to the “conservative” wing of the party, but trusted by the more established members of the party that expect some form of functional government. The answer could be someone who has previously (somewhat quietly) let it be known that he would be interested in the position: Georgia’s Tom Price.
Price works well with members across the GOP spectrum. He’s chaired the conservative Republican Study Committee and the House Policy Committee. He’s currently the House Budget Chairman, and has put forth the only workable House alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
One would probably have to look at the immediate actions from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as to what will happen next. McCarthy became Majority Leader fairly easily after the defeat of Eric Cantor in a Republican Primary, rising from the position of Republican Whip. If conservatives rally behind McCarthy, the race for speaker may be relatively short. If there is dissension or open rebellion, all bets are off and it could/will get messy. Perhaps Price will have the opportunity to clean up that mess. I still have to openly question that in a party that now prides itself on self-inflicted wounds and an entire industry of those who profit from opposing GOP leadership, why he or anyone else would want to.