Diary

Republican Shakeup

There appears to be a pleasant Republican shake-up going up on Capitol Hill. After last election, Republicans re-elected the team that lost everything, minus the NRCC making Tom Cole (R-Ok.) the chairman.

The Senate:

National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. According to Politico, current NRSC Chairman Senator John Ensign (R-NV) is moving to the Republican Policy Committee.

This opens the seat up to a race between John Cornyn and Norm Coleman (if Coleman survives a recount in the state of Minnesota.)

I hope Senator Coleman wins the Senate election, but I feel much better about Senator Cornyn heading up the NRSC. It’s just a hunch here (that and the fact that he is the successor of Senator Phil Gramm who chaired the NRSC in the 1994 elections.)

There are other leadership positions, but I don’t know anyone outside of the 40 + (I hope +) Republicans in the Senate who cares.

House:

A very interesting shuffle is going on in the House. I’ve called for John Boehner to step down as Minority Leader. It was disastrous after 2006 when the GOP re-elected the same leadership team. Boehner’s not stepping down, but what we will have may be as good or even better.

In the 111th Congress, here’s what it looks like:

Minority Whip…Roy Blunt gone, writing a very gracious exit note.

Republican Conference Chairman…Adam Putman gone.

National Republican Congressional Campaign Committeee…Tom Cole is running for re-election but is being challenged by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) with Boehner supporting Sessions. This means that Cole is (fingers crossed.) gone.

Who are the replacements?

Along with Sessions, Blunt will be replaced by Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor, who will become the highest ranking Jewish leader in Congress. (Former Congressman Martin Frost had been Caucus chair for the Democrats.) And the new Caucus Chairman is one of my personal heroes, Mike Pence.

If this move goes through, the Republican leadership will be a lot more conservative, and a lot younger. Boehner has carefully engineered his own re-election with everybody but the Captain walking the plank.

This, I can live with. Boehner has never been a strong force, and Putman and Blunt were essentially Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay people. The rest of the team will be pushing Boehner forward with some boldness. The K-street Project cronyism that has plagued the conference looks like it’s heading for the exit.

There is one Republican leader I think should be re-elected and that’s Thaddeus McCotter. He’s being challenged by Michael Burgess, but Boehner is backing McCotter. McCotter has been one of the more forceful Republican leaders. He’s a Conservative and his anti-bailout speeches were instant pieces of American patriotism. His hilarious “Speaking Democrat” speech as well as his Bob Dylan parody show some well-needed creativity on the Republican team that I just don’t think Congressman can match.