Monday, January 30, 2006

The Second Biggest Event in DC This Week

After President Bush gives his State of the Union address Tuesday, the next item of interest coming out of the Swamp will be the House Republican leadership elections. And as good pachyderms, we should all be following this one closely, because it could signify a significant change in the way the GOP caucus operates in Congress's lower chamber for at least the rest of this session.

The contenders for House Majority Leader are Roy Blunt, the current interim leader and Majority Whip, John Boehner, and come-from-behind conservative John Shadegg. Between the three of them, they all claim to have more public supporters than there actually are voting Republicans in the caucus, but that's just details.

What's really important is that despite appearances, there are some very different choices between these men. Personally, I'm pulling for John Shadegg. Unlike Blunt and Boehner, he is a fresh face, untied to the current Republican leadership in the House and, therefore, unassociated with the status quo which has brought the GOP agenda down to a sputter. Shadegg is an avowed fiscal conservative, something that his opponents definitely cannot lay claim to, and he offers the best hope of getting spending under control. It may appear at this point that Blunt has the race locked up, but Shadegg's connection to the Republican Study Committee should not be underestimated when it comes to mustering votes. 2006 is going to be a very interesting year for Republicans, and the fun and games could very well start this Thursday.

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